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, January 21, 2016

Belles of the Ball

…I enjoy watching the girls dancing together, they waltz well . . . . I see only two graceful bodies united, sculpted beneath thin dresses by the wind of the waltz. . . .They waltz lewdly, sensuously, with that delicious inclination of a tall sail of a yacht. . . . I really find it prettier than any ballet. 

The Sémiramis Bar, 1909, Colette 

During Victorian and Edwardian times, it was acceptable for women to dance together, typically at tea dances where there were not enough male partners.  In the early 1900s, restaurants, night clubs, and other places of evening entertainment would hire professional dancers to entertain the patrons, often partnering two pretty women in daring dresses to dance among the tables in the latest, and most shocking, dances of the day.  These bare belles of the ball are by Galluba and Hofmann and are part of the company's highly sought after series of double damsels.  Although these lovely lasses retain the remains of their original mohair wigs, originally this pulchritudinous pair were no doubt draped in the silks and laces of the finest Edwardian fashions.  Of excellent bisque and workmanship, this figurine is 8 inches high and incised underneath "314."

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