This sleepy sultana, luxuriating a sensual stretch, represents how many Americans will no doubt feel after stuffing themselves with turkey and stuffing (although, admittedly most Americans would probably not look quite as fetching in a barely-there jeweled bra and sheer skirt). By the German firm of Galluba and Hofmann, she is a variation of a mold used by the company for a bathing beauty. Decorated in creams and browns to resemble an ivory carving, this undulating odalisque is 8 inches long. Of excellent bisque, this luscious lady is incised underneath “9724.”
As the Victorian era passed into the Edwardian and Roaring Twenties, a market developed for bisque and china bawdy novelties and figurines of women in revealing outfits. Although now most of these figurines seem more coy and cute than ribald and risque, in their time they symbolized the casting off of the perceived restraints of the Victorian era.
These little lovelies included bathing beauties, who came clad in swimsuits of real lace or in stylish painted beach wear, as well as mermaids, harem ladies, and nudies, who were meant to wear nothing more than an engaging smile. Also produced were flippers, innocent appearing figurines who reveal a bawdy secret when flipped over, and squirters, figurines that were meant to squirt water out of an appropriate orifice.
Most were manufactured in Germany from the late 1800s through the 1930s, often showing remarkable artistry and imagination, with Japan entering the market during World War I.