Perhaps the title should be "Bathing Beauties of the Day!" These two voluptuous belles engaging in a little seaside horseplay are a scarce double by the German company of Galluba and Hofmann. Of superb bisque and modeling, this toothsome twosome is 5 inches tall and long. They have long lost their original silk net bathing suits and caps to time, and their original mohair wigs were so disheveled, I made them little hairnets of antique lace. The pair is incised "356" under the buttocks of the reclining woman.
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.