This pretty pair of bisque vases feature bathing beauties toying with their beach towels. Both are incised underneath with the Carl Schneider "G" pieced by two vertical arrows and "DEP 12223 Germany." Each vase is 7.45 inches high. They are both superbly modeled out of excellent sharp bisque and beautifully decorated. Some collectors refer to these as "spill vases." A "spill" was a thin wood stick, long wood shaving, or tightly rolled bit of paper; before the availability of inexpensive commercial matches, the spill would be used to transfer a flame from the fireplace, such as to light a candle or pipe. Cylindrical spill vases holding the prepared spills were conveniently placed on the fireplace mantel. During the Victorian era, spill vases became ever more decorative and figurative spill vases often are found in pairs. However, by the time these beach belles were produced, the abundance of inexpensive matches had long made spills, and the vases that held them, unnecessary. But the fashion of matching or complementary figural vases to adorn a mantel or shelf continued.
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.