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, May 6, 2015

What's New, Pussycat?

What's new, pussycat? Woah, woah
What's new, pussycat? Woah, woah

Pussycat, pussycat, you're delicious
And if my wishes can all come true
I'll soon be kissing your sweet little pussycat lips

Pussycat, pussycat, I love you, yes, I do
You and your pussycat lips
You and your pussycat eyes
You and your pussycat nose
Hal David and Burt Bacharach 

Dressed in little more than an oversized cat skin, black stockings, and heeled pumps, this pulchritudinous pussycat is most likely by the unknown maker responsible for many of the toothsome toothpick tootsies previously featured on this blog.

Of excellent bisque, she is 3 inches long and 4 inches high.  A precolored bisque urn by her knees would have once held matches or toothpicks.  There are no marks.

There is some slight resemblance between this lovely lass in her cat cloak and the cruel, tasteless, and frankly creepy, costume donned by Miss Kate Feering Strong for the Vanderbilt's 1883 fancy dress ball.  Inspired by her nickname, "Puss," Strong had a costume created out of white cat skins, including the taxidermied cat head atop her own.  Her nickname is spelled out on her collar, complete with a bell.  As a cat lover, I think another name for a female animal, beginning with "B" and ending with "H," would have been a far more appropriate emblazoned across her throat.      

On a lighter note, lovely ladies dressed up as pretty pussycats was a popular theme in the music halls and theaters.  The final kittenish coquette is the French actress and writer, Colette, as she appeared in a 1912 revue, "La Chatte Amoureuse." 

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