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, February 29, 2012
Ms. #462 has an original hairdo and headdress every bit as extraordinary and exquisite as the lady herself. By the firm of Galluba and Hofmann, this fantastic bisque fashion lady is 8.25 inches high and incised underneath “408 B.” Now wearing only her molded underwear, at one point she must have been dressed in a silk and lace outfit as elaborate as her hair and hat!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Ms. #461 is another all original bathing beauty by Galluba and Hofmann. Of the finest bisque, modeling and decoration, she is 6 inches long and strikes a less common pose. There are no visible marks.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Ms. #460 offers about everything a collector would want. She is by Galluba and Hofmann, one of the finest German manufacturers, and is of the most extraordinary bisque and modeling. Not only is she a scarce and unusual pose, she is one big bisque beauty, at 9.5 inches long. And if that wasn't enough, she is all original, from her brown mohair wig to her light blue silk net bathing suit and cap with pink ribbon straps. She even has her original cardboard inventory tag tied with black string to her upper arm. Written in ink on one side of the tag is “8/-” and on the other “No. 60/1423k.”
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Ms. #458 balances on one knee as she stares intently at the golden ball held in her right hand. The art deco period produced an entire genre of slim athletic nudes balancing balls as they danced, so perhaps she is in the midst of a dance routine. Her complex pose required multiple molds and she is of excellent bisque. By William Goebel, this belle of the ball is 4 inches tall and is incised “i746” under her right thigh. Her molded dark pink pumps are edged in yellow; trimming molded shoes with contrasting colors was a typical Goebel technique. She retains her original, although disheveled, blonde mohair wig. Goebel wigs were often little more than a hank of mohair wrapped around the head and held in place at the sides with small decorative pins and they tend to unravel over time.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Ms. #456 kneels in a colorful belted bathing suit of the type found in the late 1920s to the 1930s. Although simply molded, she is beautifully modeled and decorated. Of excellent bisque, she is 3.5 inches tall and is incised “Germany 8054” across her buttocks.