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, May 26, 2016

Cock of the Walk

This blog has previously pictured naughty novelties playing on the double entendre regarding the affectionate name for a kitty cat and a vulgar term for a woman's genitalia.  But German companies also engaged in such prurient wordplay regarding another term for a rooster and a man's private parts.  And as far as the German manufacturers were concerned, size did matter!  Schafer and Vater produced a series of buxom blondes clad only in their white chemises and black stockings engaged in provocative play with plus-sized poultry.  However, this bisque belle and her feathered friend show that Schafer was not the only company to portray a damsel in dishabille with a cheeky Chantecler.  From an unknown company, this figurine is 4.5 inches long and incised "3803."   

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mujer de Misterio

 This woman of mystery came from Spain.  At first glance, she might appear to be a fashion lady by Galluba and Hofmann, but instead of being of bisque, she is modeled from plaster and stands on a wooden base.  Nearly a foot tall, she is unmarked.

She came bald, but I made her a new mohair wig.  She was jointed at the shoulders with wire, which I switched out for elastic.
A close up of her face.  Considering her age and the fragility of her material, she is in remarkably good condition.

Her lower legs may have once been covered by fabric, as there are bits of material still stuck to her painted stockings.
There is a scrap of paper glued under the wood base, but unfortunately it is not a label, but appears to be part of a Spanish newspaper.  I can make out ". . . and big. There will be on Sunday . . .program. . . marriage. . . in three acts. . . "

Whoever created her was certainly inspired by the fashion ladies by Galluba, as demonstrated by this pair of the company's bisque belles.  The plaster mannequin has the same perfect oval face, long slender neck, oddly broad shoulders, and gracefully gesturing slim arms.  The right or left foot slightly forward is common to Galluba's fashion ladies, and her strapless undergarment, stockings, and heeled pumps also seem to have been copied from a Galluba gal.  For centuries, Spanish craftsmen have created religious figures and icons out of wood and plaster and I wonder if some artisan in the early 1900s, upon seeing a costly and fragile fashion lady by Galluba, decided to expand his current line of santos to include more modern mannequins for shop windows and counter displays. The pretty plaster senorita's jointed arms would have made her easier to dress and pose.