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, May 30, 2012

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Little Miss #477 stands 4.5 inches tall on her 1.25 inch tall box.  This sweet young girl is a very scarce child fashion figurine by Galluba and Hofmann.  Of the finest bisque and modeling, she is all original from her long wavy light brown mohair wig to the oval box of textured silver paper.  Behind her is a molded bisque basket, which serves as a support.  Underneath the box is stamped in dark blue with Galluba shield mark over "Germany."  There is also a green and ecru paper label that reads "Loza Y Cristal Canelilla Concepcion Jeronima 13 Madrid." 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bathing Beauty(ties?) of the Week

This terrific twosome is a scarce double bathing beauty figurine by Galluba and Hofmann.  At 5.75 inches tall, this is a larger version of the desirable double.   Typical of Galluba, this pulchritudinous pair displays lovely bisque and the finest modeling.  They are incised under the bench "354 " 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Where is the Fake?

This beautiful bisque blonde sits up in her bed, pulling away the front of her nightgown as she appears to search for some object among her bountiful bosoms.  Along the edge of her blanket is the incised caption, "Where is the flea?"

Turn her over and the tiny frolicsome flea is seen settled on her bare left buttock.  This is a very scarce naughty "flipper" by Schafer and Vater.  Note her graceful arms and delicate fingers, very susceptible to breakage in an item that is meant to picked up and turned over. Not only is this piece hard to find, it is even harder to find it in good condition.

However, suddenly there has been a number of these scarce flippers turning up on eBay, all being sold as old and some even advertised as by Schafer.  Well, these pieces are neither old or by Schafer.  They are modern reproductions by Mundial Company of Belgium (HR2001 under "Baigneuses").  Here is one example.

The quality is quite good, but it does not match the sharp bisque and fine details of the original.  The hands are heavy and clumsy, the facial painting lacks the detail of the original, the modeling is blurred, and the colors are harsher.  However, unless you are familiar with the authentic antique or have the opportunity to see the original and copy side by side, you could be mislead into thinking this reproduction is the scarce real deal.  Like all Mundial pieces, it does not carry the company's mark or any indication this is a new copy.

The  bottom view. . . . 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bathing Beauty (?) of the Week

While not technically a bathing beauty, Mr. #474 is a scarce and splendid sultan from a series of harem figurines by William Goebel.  At one point, this 4.25 bisque pasha had harem pants and a vest of silk, but now all he retains is his original turban to cover his bald pate.  The dull gold turban  matches his molded slippers with the up-turned toes, and he also wears a molded loincloth with painted "jewels."  His rather sleepy expression as he puffs away on his pipe makes one wonder just what he is supposed to be smoking!  There are no marks.

 Also from the same Goebel seraglio series is this very scarce Nubian serving boy.  Wearing his original brocade turban, hoop earrings, and (sadly shredding) blue silk harem pants, this dark-skinned bisque boy is  4.25 inches tall.  He has molded white baggy harem pants under his silk ones and large molded slippers with curled toes.  A little silk pillow is balanced in his upturned hands. There are no visible marks.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hey, Our Eyes Are Up Here!

A German gentleman working on a psychological paper on images of lactation, after seeing Ms. #447, asked if I had other lady squirters who sprayed water from their breasts.  I put together this group photo to send him, but they all looked so alluring, I decided to post the picture on my blog as well!

Friday, May 11, 2012

1913 Costumes de Bain

I found this wonderful article on costumes for "bains de mer" (sea bathing) from the 1913 Gazette du Bon Ton, an exclusive French fashion magazine targeting a wealthy and sophisticated clientele.  The magazine was printed in limited quantities and was illustrated by many of the finest Art Deco artists of the period.  Unfortunately, I do not read French and when I tried to translate the article using Babel Fish, I got, well, babble.  Still, the charming and colorful illustrations showing what was once considered the finest in fashionable swimwear can be enjoyed in any language.   


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Ms. #473 appears to be a little shy, maybe because she now wears only her molded undergarments, when once she was clad in silk and lace.  Her outfit must have been quite elegant, because she wears painted long gray gloves.  By Galluba and Hofmann, this modest miss has managed to retain her original mohair wig.  She is 6.5 inches tall and is incised "405" with cursive "C". 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Galluba and Hofmann, Always in Fashion

A friend and fellow collector alerted me to this 1983 Nina Ricci fashion advertisement.  

What caught her eye was not the courtier dress, but the three seated ladies. . . .

They are all original fashion ladies by Galluba and Hofmann.  The company's 1914 catalogue displays a similar group of grande dames, all dressed in real silks and lace in the epitome of Edwardian elegance and seated in identical chairs.  You can see two similar ladies from my collection, sadly sans gowns and furniture, here and here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Someone must have told Ms. #471 to shake a leg! By Galluba and Hofmann, this frisky flirt strikes one of the more risque, and scarce, poses produced by this German firm.  At 5 inches long, she is also a desirable larger size.  Of excellent bisque, modeling, and decoration, she is incised “405. W.” under her buttocks.