Postcard Image

Postcard Image
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.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bathing Beauty of the Day; Day 1

I haven't posted anything lately, in part because I have just not been able to come up with any particularly edifying and novel theme. But then, since when has that ever stopped a blogger? So just to keep my finger in the blog pie until inspiration finally strikes, I am going to try to post a bathing beauty a day (more or less).

I catalogue all my ladies with a number. Here is Ms. #306. Although unmarked, I attribute her to the German firm of Hertwig and Company, who produced a series of nubile nudes posed on this same white bisque base. Of fine pale precolored bisque, she displays the extraordinary modeling found in so many of Hertwig's finer nudes. The slim hands have free and her beautifully sculpted athletic adolescent body has subtle blushing on the breasts, belly, and knees. She is now clad only in painted ballet slippers, but in the Hertwig catalogues, her sisters wore swimsuits of net and ribbon. She is fastened to the base wth a tiny screw through the sole of her right foot. Like many Hertwig products, the decoration is cold painted and subject to wear. This slender sylph is 6 inches tall.

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