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 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.

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