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, March 27, 2013

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Ms. #538 is another bare-bottomed belle.  She is one of the fanciest flippers I have seen, from her fetching hat with its yellow plumes to the hand-painted flowers on her flaring skirt to her high-heeled pumps with ballet-type ties.  This colorful coquette is of the finest bisque and decoration, but is not marked.    

Turn her over, and you see that she is so intent on tying her shoes, she neglected to close her knickers. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bathing Beauty of the Week

Her chiton swirling around her,  Ms. #537 appears to be playing her tambourine with wild abandon.  Perhaps she is supposed to be a maenad, a female follower of the Greek god, Dionysus, who often danced around their deity in a frenzied rapture.  By Schafer and Vater, this beautiful bisque bacchae has a rather cheeky secret. . . .

for underneath are her voluptuous bare buttocks, framed with a laurel wreath.  In ancient Greece, athletes and poets were crowned with laurel wreaths as awards for their accomplishments.  One wonders just what this young lady's talents were to warrant a wreath around her nether regions. Of excellent sharp bisque typical of Schafer, this unusual flipper is 4.5 inches wide and 3.25 inches tall, and is incised "5838" underneath.

A friend said that this callipygian cutie is "resting on her laurels."  Wish I had thought of that one!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bathing Beauty of the Week


Ms. #536 is a "modedamen mit gefäß" (fashion lady with container) according to the catalogue of Hertwig and Company of Germany.  She is part of a series of elegant Edwardian ladies "mit paperhüten und mit tuchschur bemalt" (with paper hats and painted flocking), striking insouciant poses.  Of excellent bisque  and modeling, she is molded in sharp base relief against a rectangular vase.  Her form-fitting and daringly decollete top is covered in fine green flocking, giving it the look and feel of cloth.  She wears the remains of her original mohair wig adorned with a  replaced blue crepe paper hat.  Incised "1086" on back lower edge of the vase, she is 5.5 inches tall.

 Here she is as pictured in the Hertwig catalogue.  Notice that the catalogue number matches the incised number on the figurine.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I have added more pictures to my page on Hertwig's petite pets, thanks to a generous English collector!

Better Safe Than Sorry!

This is another frisky fairing, featuring a fair maiden telling her rather forward gentleman caller, "Be good, and if you can't be good, be careful."  This may be one of the earliest safe sex public service announcements!  Variations of this phrase featured in several racier music hall songs.  Of good sharp bisque, and 3 inches long and 4.25 inches high, it is very nicely detailed and decorated for this genre.  Underneath it is stamped "Made in Germany" in a circle.