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, March 19, 2020

Barrison Fever!

No, this is not some new pandemic, but one dating from the fin de si├Ęclewhen five buxom blonde Danish-American sisters swept across Europe with their bawdy vaudeville act.  It is also the title of a new book, Barrison Feberen in the original Danish, by historian Hans Henrik Appel.  As the cover announces, it is: "The story of Sisters Barrison – the Danish-American pop phenomenon that shook the European cities of the 1890s and challenged the vision of gender, body and morality."

Not only do Mr. Appel and I share an interest in these sensational sisters, one of my bisque Barrisons has the honor of appearing on one of the pages of his tome. This lissome lass is just one of the many illustrations in the book, including photographs, postcards, and other ephemera of the period.

Mr. Appel was generous enough to send me an autographed copy and while I do not speak Danish (let's hope for an English version some day!), it is a beautifully printed and substantial book.  It has received excellent reviews from the Danish press, praising both Mr. Appel's extensive scholarship and his story-telling skills.  The book is more than a biography about the Barrison sisters, as Mr. Appel also sets the historical scene and cultural context that made it possible for the five sisters to flourish as they challenged the morality and mores of the end of an era.  If you are interested in acquiring your own copy of the book, learning more about the sisters, or just want to view more pictures of this coquettish quintet, check out The Barrison Fever website.

New Neko on My Maneki Neko Page!

I have added another maneki neko to my page, this one with very unusual sleeping glass eyes.