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, October 9, 2013

Beach Boys (Updated 10/10/13)

This beefcake beach boy by Hertwig and Company has appeared before on this blog.  Of good china, he is incised "544" on the back of his hips.  He is making an encore appearance to introduce. . . .

his (slightly) bigger brother.  This brawny blond is of light-weight earthenware that Hertwig advertised as "feinsteingut."  He is 4 inches long, and in addition to the "544" mark, is incised underneath "16."

This picture from the Hertwig catalogue shows two swimsuit-clad men, model numbers 544 and 545.  I have not yet come across Model 545 in either china or earthenware.

REPRODUCTION WARNING!: The Belgium company Mundial at Kerlouve  is currently reproducing this bathing boy (see HR2009-1 and HR2009-3).  However, as is typical of this company's products, the quality is far below that of the antique originals, with the surface artificially stained to give the pieces the look of age (and to help hide the poor workmanship).  No doubt these pieces are already turning up at antiques markets throughout Europe, where they are being sold as old, and they could fool unwary dealers and collectors who have not had the chance to see the authentic antiques.

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