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.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

You Great Big Beautiful Doll!

Oh! you beautiful doll,
You great big beautiful doll!
Let me put my arms about you,
I could never live without you;

Oh! you beautiful doll,
You great big beautiful doll!
If you ever leave me how my heart will ache,
I want to hug you but I fear you'd break
Oh, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, you beautiful doll!
Lyrics by Seymour Brown, 1911

This extra-large lovely lady is another gorgeous giantess by Galluba and Hofmann.  Of the finest bisque and modeling, she is 12.5 inches long and 4.5 inches high. Although time has claimed her clothing and coiffure, her voluptuous beauty has remained intact.  Underneath she is incised "427 A."   I suspect these big, beautiful dolls were intended as exhibit pieces for commercial expositions or store displays and were not marketed to the general public.  They are very hard to find compared to their smaller sisters, and it would have taken a sizable shelf to display one of these massive maidens.

A close up of her face displays the extra details Galluba lavished on these voluminous belles, including painted teeth between her full parted lips.  Someday I may make her a wig, but right now I think she looks lovely just draped in her strip of antique lace.

The give you a better idea of scale, here she poses with a Galluba bathing belle in a more standard size (6 inches long).

And here is my even bigger  (14.5 inches long and 7 inches high) bathing belle with her literal little (5.25 inches long) sister.  Both are all original.

A close up of this amazing amazon's delicately detailed face, complete with feathered eyebrows, painted eyelashes and molded teeth.