Chryselephantine in ancient times meant a statue of wood, with a thin veneer of ivory representing skin and gold leaf picking out other details, such as clothing. The term is also used to describe statuettes produced during the art nouveau and art deco periods with parts of finely carved ivory inset into bronze or other materials. This voluptuous bathing beauty is by Peter Tereszczuk, renown for his cryselephantine creations. Born in the Ukraine in 1875, Tereszczuk studied sculpting in Vienna, Austria. Most of his statuettes, representing everything from the innocence of childhood to erotica, were produced in Vienna from the 1890s through the 1920s. This 6.5 inch tall belle (including her marble base) is garbed in a bronze bathing outfit from the early 1900s, but her bust and arms are of ivory. From the front, she presents the viewer with a bit more leg than would be proper at the seaside as she nonchalantly adjusts one of her garters.
However, a view of the back reveals that this little seaside siren needs to adjust more than her garter, as a naughty zephyr has blown up the skirt of her bathing outfit, exposing her bare bottom of subtly sculpted ivory.
A close up of her serene exquisite face and slender graceful arms displays the superb carving of the ivory.
The left side of the bronze base is marked with the intertwined "T" and "U" of the Tereszczuk-Ullmann foundry and "P. Tereszczuk."
The back of the base is incised "Made in Austria."