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, December 5, 2019

Fancy That!

Another old catalog page, this one from a partial catalog from an unidentified wholesaler or exporter.  With descriptions in German, French, English, and Spanish, the catalog offered a wide variety of toys and dolls and appears to date from the 1920s.

At the bottom right corner of the page is a trio of bathing beauties.

The accompanying price page does not contain any specific description of the little bathers, lumping them in with a group of googly girl dolls and one oddly-placed religious figure as "Fancy dolls of papier mache, painted eyes."  There is a notation for "04329," the seated bathing belle with the paper parasol, stating "Silk," apparently describing the ribbon that appears to be tied around her waist.  The other two little ladies, "04330" and "04331" have no notations, which suggests that their costumes are molded and painted.