Tell this laughing lass to shake a leg and she will happily comply. She appears to be peeking over the edge of her spread skirt, which forms a shallow round trinket or ring dish. Her two lithe legs jut straight up, each attached to the base by a small spring that allows them to quiver and quake. Although only stamped underneath in black "Made in Germany," she is no doubt from the company of Schafer and Vater, known for its lissome leggy ladies. Of excellent sharp bisque, this miss and her shimmying stems are 3 inches long and high.
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.
Friday, May 1, 2020
especially if it is as unique and alluring as this one! This blog has featured various pieces of jewelry bearing bathing beauties, but this beautiful vintage bauble is one piece from my collection that I often wear. This style of ring featuring a pair of bare voluptuous belles framed by flowing tresses and supporting a stone or signet face can be traced back to the art nouveau period, when naked nymphs in gold and silver often frolicked on jewelry. Sometimes referred to as a caryatid ring, referencing the use of a sculpted female figure as a supporting column or pillar of a building, such rings remain popular and jewelry designers are currently creating their own versions. Antique and vintage rings range from rare precious pieces from the art nouveau period to cheap plated men's signet rings sold through the mid-1900s. The quality of the rings vary from superbly sculpted to crudely stamped. In this ring, the sirens' supple curves and cascading curls are well rendered. Even their tiny facial features are nicely detailed.
Of 14 karat gold, but unmarked by a maker, this comely couple of caryatids hold a round fiery opal. The fact that opal is my birthstone makes this ring an especially serendipitous find for me.