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, December 28, 2011

Bathing Beauties of the Week

This quartet of china curvaceous cuties is by William Goebel.   These are diminutive damsels, as the one sitting the yellow hooded “wicker chair” is only 2.5 inches high.  She also is the only one that is marked, as underneath  the chair is incised  with William Goebel's intertwined “G” and “W” under crown and what appears to be “P.O.” over “641.” 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Making an Ass of Himself

This comic bisque pin dish by Schafer and Vater features a very voluptuous bathing belle being held by a rather flustered beau.  The caption, " I Never Felt Such an Ass in All My Life," is a double entendre, as can be read as meaning either that the man is feeling foolish or his female friend's ample hindquarters.

And here is the postcard that inspired the pin dish.  The artist is Donald Fraser Gould McGill (1875 – 1962), an English graphic artist renown for his naughty postcards, which often featured double entendres and saucy sight gags.  Many of his postcards portrayed seaside scenes and were sold as souvenirs at British beach resorts.   

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Ms.  #450 is an unusual bathing beauty and a bit of a mystery.   Unmarked, she is 5.5 inches high and wears a mohair wig.  Although she clearly meant to be standing,  there are no holes in the soles of her feet for supporting rods.  Perhaps she was once attached to a bisque base with plaster or glue.   She is of excellent bisque and is beautifully modeled. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bathing Beauty (?!) of the Week

This week features a naughty novelty rather than a bathing belle.  Mr. #448 is a clown who appears to have misplaced his seltzer bottle or squirting flower and is substituting a more personal appendage.  Incised "649" on his buttocks, this bisque buffoon is 3.25 inches high.  There is a lip around his molded orange-brown cap that once held  a rubber bulb, and when he was filled with water and the bulb squeezed, a stream of water came out of the appropriate orifice.   

Monday, December 12, 2011

Delightful Dancing Damsel by A.W. Fr. Kister

This gorgeous dancing girl is by my favorite maker, A.W. Fr. Kister.  She is 8 inches tall and is of the superb bisque and workmanship typical of Kister. 

Her modeling is magnificent, from her graceful hands to her long lithe legs clad in molded white stockings.  She wears a replacement mohair wig and I added the frilled tiny pink and blue tutu (which matches her shoes), transforming her into an exquisite entertainer on stage at some elegant carbaret or nightclub.  I wonder how she was originally dressed!

Underneath the base she is incised with the crosshatched "S" mark of A.W. Fr. Kister and "3" over "12040."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Ms. #447 is a mischievous maiden, tugging down the front of her bathing suit to expose one round breast.  There is a molded lip atop her bathing cap and it once held a rubber bulb; when she was filled with water and the bulb squeezed, water sprayed from her bare breast.   She is quite nicely modeled for this type of naughty novelty.  Of good bisque and decoration, she is 3.5 inches long and is incised "7403" across her upper back. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bubbly Belles

This is the time of the year of popping corks and crystal glasses filled with golden champagne and sparkling wine.  These two bisque beauties appear to bubble with glee and goodwill as they raise their glasses filled with their favorite sparkling beverage.


 Her voluptuous form barely contained by her fanciful outfit, this lovely lass leans against a giant champagne cork as she prepares to pour some wine.  Of excellent sharp bisque, she is 5 inches long and 3 inches high.

The cork, of green precolored bisque, is open at the top to hold matches or toothpicks.  On the back is incised "Kaiser Sect Kloss u Forster."  The wine house Kloss and Foerster was founded by Moritz and Julius Kloss and Carl Foerster in Freyburg, Germany in 1856.  "Kaiser Sect" may refer to the fact that Kaiser Wilhelm II was said to be fond of the firm's sparkling wine, known as "Sekt."

No doubt by the same maker and from the same series, this buxom belle briefly clad in blue shows off her shapely legs in bright yellow stockings.  At first I thought she was holding a folded fan in her  raised left hand, but closer inspection shows that it is champagne flute overflowing with foam.  She is  4.25 inches wide and 4 inches tall.  The front of her cork is incised "Henkell Trocken," another German wine company, founded in 1856, known for its sparkling wine.  I wonder if these pieces were produced specifically as advertisements for these wine firms, or just simply acknowledge the popularity of these bubbling beverages.