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, December 9, 2016

New Article

My article, "A Whistle and a Shimmy; Clockwork Carnival Dolls of the 1920s" is in the December 2016 issue of "Antique Doll Collector." The article looks at the clockwork cuties companies like Zaiden Toy Works created for carnival concessionaires. Below are some of the dolls included in my article.  This is "Bimbo," advertised by Zaiden in 1922 as a “wonderful creation” who “executes the belly roll.” 

Another Zaiden maiden is "Salvation Nell," a “Salvation Army girl shaking her tambourine and collecting funds. A Goddess of Mercy.”

Although Zaiden did make a Hula dancer, this doll is “Hula-Hula,” a big-eyed Kewpie-doll type by Progressive Toy Company. 

This March 8, 1922, advertisement by Zaiden features seven dolls, which it declares are only part of the company’s “Sixteen new mechanical numbers.” How many more of these shimmying and shaking dancing dolls are still out there after over 80 years, waiting to be discovered? 

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