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, April 27, 2017

Skirting the Issue

This exotic dancer poses prettily on a oriental rug in the center of a onyx ashtray.  However, this nuatch dancer has a naughty secret. . . . 

as her hinged skirt lifts up the in front, unveiling her (literally and figurally).  Of detailed bronze, cold-painted in subtle colors, this harem dancer is 6.25 inches tall.  Two corners of the 7-inch wide ashtray have gilt metal plaques engraved with the names “MORTON” and “KIKI.”  

Her supporting sash covers most of her marking across her lower back, but similar dancing damsels are incised with a stylized urn containing a "B" and “Nam Greb.” The urn mark is of the Viennese foundry of Franz Xaver Bergmann, which produced detailed bronze sculptures from the 1860s until 1936. Along with more innocent subjects, such as the miniature animals, comic images, and Middle Eastern scenes, the foundry produced erotic bronzes, often featuring woman whose beauty could be bared by lifting a piece of drapery or pressing a button or an object, such as an owl or an Egyptian sarcophagus, that opened to expose a nubile nude within.  The erotic subjects are often marked "Nam Greb," the reverse of Bergmann's name (minus one "n"). Upon the death of Bergmann's son, the company's molds and remaining stock were sold in 1954 to Karl Fuhrmann and Company.  Currently, there are high-quality and costly reproductions from Bergmann's molds are being cast in Austria, and there are also cheaper and poorer quality copies of some of the erotic Bergmann models coming out of Europe, China, or India. These latter pieces have poor modeling and blurred details, may be garishly painted or patinated, and the female figurines' figures often have been slimmed down (but their breasts enlarged) to cater to modern tastes. Many of these bronzes, whether recast from an original mold or carelessly copied, still carry the Bergmann or Nam Grab marks.  This vamp in a veil is probably one of the most copied Bergmann erotic bronzes.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ravishing Redhead

As in the real world, true red-headed bathing beauties are uncommon, especially when they are as stunning as this copper-tressed cutie.  Of excellent flawless bisque, this femme with flame-colored locks is 4.5 inches tall and 4 inches wide.  Beautifully modeled from her slender curves to her lithe limbs, she is faintly stamped “Bavaria” in black under her right thigh, a mark typical of the German firm of William Goebel, and is incised under her hips “801 C2.”  

A close up of this gorgeous ginger gal's lovely face with unusual amber-colored eyes.