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 30, 2019


This lovely lady cuddling her kitty while sitting on a settee is actually a smoking set.  Of excellent bisque, this unusual piece is 6.5 inches high, 5.5 inches long, and is unmarked. 

There are three holders.  The one molded to the end of the settee is a match striker; it would have held wooden safety matches, which could be struck on its horizontally ribbed surface.  The oval basket by the lass's shapely legs is for burnt matches and the tall container in the back, molded to look like a brick wall, would have proffered cigarettes or cigars.  No doubt this piece was made to appeal to men, who would have been only proper consumers of tobacco products when it was made, which would explain the lady's charming state of dishabille.  Perhaps she once adorned a tobacconist's counter, a table in a men's club, or some other early version of the man cave. 

These two figurines featuring the same theme of a lady lounging with a feline friend appeared earlier on this blog.  Although much smaller than the smoking set (the larger of these two figurines, the pretty miss in pink, is only 3.75 inches tall), they certainly seem to all be by the same maker.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Neither Bad Nor Bold

I have previously posted about Grace Drayton's popular parody of the painting "September Morn" by French artist Paul Chabas. Drayton, best known for her pleasingly plump Campbell Soup Kids, portrayed a pudgy and wide-eyed little Miss Morn, sometimes accompanied by the caption, "Oh! please don't think I'm bad or bold, Cause where it's deep, it's awful cold!" This 6.5 inch tall version of Drayton's bare baby bathing belle is made from excellent bisque and is superbly decorated.

A close up of the face shows the wonderful details of the features, including tiny finely painted eyelashes and highlighted eyes.

On the back of the base is a blurred facsimile of Drayton's signature, "G.G. Drayton."  Although otherwise unmarked, it resembles similar pieces by the German company Schafer and Vater.