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, October 24, 2019

Early Halloween Treat

Halloween means dressing up in costumes, or in the case of this little treat, dressing down in a barely-there exotic ensemble of molded beads and jewels.  Although mainly decorated in soft creams and browns to resemble an ivory carving, her exotic attire is emphasized with gilt and accents of red and blue. By the German firm of Galluba and Hofmann, she is 5.75 inches long and incised underneath "9748."  This 9000 series was used by Galluba on many of its luscious harem ladies in exiguous beaded attire.  A similar sultana from this series appeared earlier on this blog.

A close up of her face shows the typical Galluba features, such as eyes with intaglio pupils highlighted with a dot of white and softly smiling slightly parted lips, but done entirely in shades of brown.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Waxing Elegant

Although wax half dolls and bathing belles were popular decorative items in the early 1900s, few have survived.  Bisque and china will certainly shatter or chip if dropped or handled roughly, but otherwise can stand the vicissitudes of time and temperature.  A waxen lass, whether solid or a wax coat over plaster or chalk, has a far more ephemeral epidermis, easily scratched or dented, subject to cracking in cold weather or softening on hot days.  The features painted on top of the wax tend to rub off or fade over time.  This original catalog from the Germany company of Ernst Scheddin offering  tea doll heads ("teepuppenköpfen") and wax figures ("wachsfiguren") shows the delightful variety and the delicate beauty of these vulnerable belles.  I have not been able to find any background information of this factory, but the catalog most likely dates from the late 1910s though the 1920s.

The introduction states that while the catalog displays the factory's standard articles, there are many variations and, on request, similar figures can be created in wax or chalk.

The top row of "tea doll heads" have a wax coating and can be ordered with a smooth or matte finish. The second row are of wax.

The top picture displays wax heads for assembling dolls or pincushions, while the lower offers cute chubby cherubs in wax.

Wax half dolls with movable full arms and wonderful wigs.

"Aktfiguren," a fancy way of saying nekkid ladies. . . .

Wax figures offered dressed with bits or ribbon or displayed on fancy pincushions.

These are supplemental pages offering additional decorative damsels.

Certainly my favorite page, displaying bathing beauties both nude ("nackt") or painted with glitter ("flitterbemalung"), some posing with paper parasols.