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 31, 2016

More Variations on a Theme

This winsome miss in molded bathing togs is unmarked, but she is an unusual china bathing beauty by Galluba and Hofmann.  Although most of Galluba's belles are bisque, the company also produced charmers in china.  The company's china bathers appear to have come clad in molded bathing suits.  Although just as well modeled and decorated as the bisque versions, and probably less expensive to manufacture, as there was no need for a mohair wig and swimsuit of lace and ribbon, these china charmers are far less common than their bisque sisters.  Perhaps they were just not as popular with a public who may have been more attracted by the matte natural skin tones of bisque, the appealing outfits of real fabric, and the soft tresses of mohair.  She is 2.5 inches high and 2 inches long.

Here is the same model in bisque, with her original mohair wig, lounging about on an extra-large lobster.  This bisque bather is marked on her back “407 C.e.,”  typical of Galluba's 400 number series for its bathing belles.  Her shellfish steed is of china and is stamped underneath with the shield mark of Galluba, as well as incised under the tail “9937.”  The lady is 2.75 inches tall and 2 inches long and the leviathan lobster is 6.5 inches long.  There is a round hole in the upper portion of the lobster’s tail and his bareback rider (in more ways than one) fits into the hole with a wooden dowel.

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