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.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Beach Beau

Summer romance is perfectly portrayed by this superb bisque sculpture of a bathing beauty and her handsome beach beau engaged in a little sweet and innocent seaside flirtation.  The excellent bisque is heavy and sharp, capturing every small detail of this nostalgic scene.

The ivory colored bisque was not left uncolored, but was expertly shaded with faint washes of golden brown, to bring out every tiny detail.

The sculptor and artist lavished as much attention to the back as the front.

Even the sandy beach was not ignored, as at their feet are scattered seashells and the lovely lady's recently abandoned book, no doubt a romance novel.

This seaside scene is 7.5 inches high and is stamped underneath in faint cursive that appears to  read "Perlena," identical to the mark on the pretty poser who earlier graced this blog.  However a fellow collector and friend from Germany contacted me following my earlier posting, explaining that the name is actually "Herbena," the mark of Herbert Behne, who headed a porcelain painting atelier in Berlin in the 1910s. Behne did not manufacture porcelain, but instead bought blank ware from Hertwig and Company and Sitzendorf Porcelain. Below is a clearer picture of the Behne mark forwarded to me by my German contact. It is this sort of generous sharing of information that helps educate all collectors!

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