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.

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Cup Runneth Over. . . .

 . . . or at least my fountain does.  An inventive German collector converted some of his squirters to tiny bubbling fountains using a small pump, and I was inspired to try with some squirters from my collection.  I used a cat water fountain from Petco as the base (by the way, having tried a variety of such pet water fountains, I recommend the Petco product as the cheapest and easiest to clean and maintain), filling the two tiers with decorative aquarium gravel. 

I ran a length of aquarium air tubing from the pump into the squirter.  This little guy, modeled after the the famed Manneken Pis of Brussels, works exceptionally well, because unlike most squirters, the opening is in his back, rather than the usual top of the head.  The opening is also smaller than is typical, allowing for a tight fit of the tubing.  I also tested out a number of other squirters from my collection.

These ladies demonstrate why such naughty novelties were not meant to be used as perfume bottles.  Not only does the liquid squirt out a surprising distance in a stream, rather than a mist or spray, the fluid heads off in two different directions.

While the most typical type of squirter is a little boy in his nightshirt, this Black version is much harder to find than his White counterparts.

This unusual squirter portrays an early firefighter; he is actually spraying water from a hose coiled behind his right leg.  His helmet was designed to keep hot embers and ashes from falling down into his collar and the original was probably made of thick, tough leather.

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