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, August 14, 2013

Brazen Hussy!

Ms. #442 has previously been pictured on this blog.  This lively and limber lady is by Schafer and Vater.

Here is the same model, but in cold-painted bronze instead of bisque.  Other than some small and subtle changes, such as the loss of the incised design on the bisque version's black dress, the bronze belle is identical to her bisque sister.  Unmarked and 4.5 inches tall, this heavy metal miss would have been a pulchritudinous paperweight for a man-around-town's desk.
The question is which came first, the bisque or the bronze?  Did Schafer copy the bronze to model its mold, or did some foundry use the Schafer lady for the bronze casting?  There is no evidence I know of that Schafer operated a foundry in addition to its prolific porcelain factory.  Yet, I have two other metal maidens in my collection that are most definitely bronze versions of well-known Schafer pieces.  One will appear in my next post.*
*By the way, I have begun to post every other Wednesday, as I have pretty much posted pictures of every item in my collection that is not already included in my second book.  Coming up with a new idea every week is not easy, so I have eased off a bit.  But I promise to post at least twice a month, so please continue to check back!

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