Wooing among the waves, this comic couple wear wide smiles (perhaps someone is about to snap their picture and told them to say cheese!). They stand beside a small trinket dish, painted blue to resemble water, and behind them is an opening that could serve as a short vase. Of excellent sharp bisque and 3.5 inches high, this playful pair is incised only "2916" around the base of the vase, but it is clearly by the German company of Shafer and Vater.
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.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Sunday, September 6, 2015
I have written books on bathing beauties, but here is a bathing beauty on a book. She is part of the series of sea sirens by Sitzendorf Porcelain Factory, pictured earlier on this blog. In fact, I may be personally acquainted with this particular lady and her lobster, as in 2014 I sold a duplicate figurine to a photographer who said the piece might be pictured in a book on Maine! I am a fan of Ann Beattie, and already had planned to buy her book, but now I may have to buy it in hardcover, rather than on my Kindle, so I can have a picture of my cover girl!
Saturday, September 5, 2015
This full figure pincushion doll poses prettily in her polka-dot bathing suit. Of good china, she is 3.25 inches tall and 2.75 inches long. Her base, with four sew holes, is faintly incised on right side “Germany” and on left what appears to read “15213.”
She is by the German firm of Carl Schneider Erban and is pictured in its old catalogues. This little lass was also offered without the base, either in spotted swimwear or au naturel. But who is the rather distressed damsel on the right, also adorned in dots?
She appears to be the bathing-suited version of this nervous nude warding off the little crab climbing her calf, who has appeared previously in this blog.
The catalogue shows a nude version of this crabby cutie without the base. Considering that the swimsuits are simply painted on, Schneider could easily offer these lissome lasses either dotted and dotless.