Now with more darling ducks!
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, June 18, 2020
This exquisitely elegant aristocratic lady is a vision indeed. By Galluba and Hofmann, this this half doll holds a pair of binoculars in her right hand. Perhaps she is watching the races at the Royal Ascot and forgot her hat. . . and a bit more.
She retains her original mohair wig. Her perfect oval face, cameo-like features, slender neck, and sloping shoulders are the epitome of Edwardian beauty.
Of flawless fine bisque and workmanship, this belle with binoculars is 4 inches tall and incised “5691” on the back edge of the base.
Thursday, June 4, 2020
You're supposed to brighten up a place
And laugh, Clown, laugh!
Paint a lot of smiles around your face
And laugh, Clown, don't frown
Dressed in your best colored humor
Be a pallietto and laugh, Clown, laugh!
Music by Ted Fio Rito, lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young, 1928
This clown certainly seems to have a lot to laugh about, as an intoxicating, and apparently intoxicated, lovely lady swoons in his arms. Of blue glazed china, this 5.25-inch tall figurine is actually a bottle, with the lacy cuffs and lithe lower legs of his tipsy tootsie covering the cork. Called a "nipper" by collectors, these comic novelty bottles were intended to hold a "nip" of alcohol. Such bottles were often offered as gifts or prizes by saloons, liquor stores, clubs, and carnivals. The clown is dressed in traditional Pierrot costume with skullcap, ruffled collar, loose tunic top with large buttons, and loose pants. Perhaps the woman represents Columbine, another character from the Commedia dell'Arte tradition, and this gallant Pierrot is rescuing her from the wiles of his crafty rival, Harlequin. Despite his laughing leer, surely this Pierrot's motives are pure--after all, look at the big beautiful bouquet her brought her. This nifty nipper is by the German firm of Schafer and Vater and is faintly incised underneath with the firms crowned sunburst mark.