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.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bathing Beauty of the Day; Day 56

Ms. #434 is a large and lovely harem dancer by Dressel, Kister, and Company.  Of excellent china and beautifully detailed and decorated, this 12 inch tall sultry sultana stands on a 1.5 inch tall wooden base.  Although unmarked, she is pictured, posing on a similar wooden base, in a 1911 Dressel catalogue.  Next to her is a silver cigarette case with an enameled picture of a nude in an almost identical pose.  Dressel often copied popular paintings and postcards of the day, but so far I have been unable to locate the original image that inspired both the case and figurine.

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