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.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Very Sweet Bathing Beauty

This bathing beauty bottle was a recent find at an estate sale.  The bottom of the bottle is marked "Des. Patent No. 84181," and tracking this design patent number,  I discovered that the "ornamental design for a bottle" was registered March 12, 1931, by Frank B. Putt and assigned to Brandle and Smith Company, a Philadelphia candy manufacturer.  This clear-glass cutie was intended to be a candy container.  Originally, she would have worn a paper belt as her label and a paper face, held in place by decorative paper confetti or grass, would have been inserted behind her molded glass features.  At 10.5 inches tall, she would have held a lot of sweet treats!

I found this example, said to be all original, including the candy!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

All-Bisque Bathing Beauty Dolls

As I have noted previously on this blog, I collect antique dolls as well as bathing beauties, and I especially like German and French all-bisque dolls.  So this pretty pair of adorable all-bisque dolls wearing their molded bathing suits is a "two-fer" for me!  Big brother is 4.5 inches tall with loop-jointed arms.  He is of excellent bisque and is beautifully decorated.  The tiny hand-painted anchor on his swimsuit adds a jaunty nautical touch.

His slightly smaller sister is 4.25 inches high and she is of the same superb quality.  Neither doll is marked, but they are certainly of the finest German workmanship.