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 25, 2019

Go Fish!

Anne Harriet Fish (1890-1964), although born in Britain became a renown artist, illustrator, and cartoonist on both sides of the "pond." Her work appeared in Condé Nast's Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Tatler. Fish also created designs for Fulper Pottery of Flemington, New Jersey, and Hubley Manufacturing Company, which made cast iron toys and novelties, such as doorstops.  This lamp base is an Anne Fish design for Fulper.  It features two very stylized flapper bathing belles sitting back to back.  These colorful cuties are 6.25 inches high.

The egg-shaped heads, heart-shaped lips, and large half-circle eyes with long lower lashes are typical of Fish's frolicsome females.

Her signature appears by the hole that would have held the lamp stem.  She signed her drawings and illustrations with only her last name.

The oval ink mark dates this piece between 1917 to 1934.

Fish's illustrations for Vanity Fair, first published in 1913, captured the essence of the new woman, youthful, slender, and always ready for a little flirtation or fun. Over a roughly 15-year period, Fish created some 30 covers for the magazine, as well as many inside illustrations.  Two covers in particular portray similar dual bathing belles. This one dates from February 1916.

Fish returned to the theme with this June 1923 cover. Condé Nast has an online store where you can view a collection of Fish covers, as well as order a print of your favorite.

This pair of bathers perching on a perfume bottle appeared earlier on this blog.  The bottle is stamped underneath “Bavaria” and is incised “X.F. 269,” “Dep,” and with the William Goebel crown mark.  It is clear that this Goebel piece was inspired by the work of this popular illustrator of the period.

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