The image of a handsome beach beau courting a beauteous bathing belle who is seated in a wicker beach chair has appeared before on this blog. Of cold-painted bronze, this well-detailed statuette is just 4 inches tall. The scene starts out innocently enough, with the man appearing to introduce himself with a gentlemanly bow. . .
However, the object of his attention and affection is not fastened to her beach chair. Turn her over, and it is revealed that the bottom of her bathing suit is unfastened as well.
The figures are cast in poses that allow them to be placed in some pretty prurient positions.
Although unmarked, this very bawdy bronze is most likely Austrian. Beginning in the mid-19th century, Vienna became the center of many foundries and ateliers producing finely crafted artistic bronzes.The most famous is the Viennese foundry of Franz Xaver Bergmann, which produced detailed bronze sculptures from the 1860s until 1936. Along with miniature animals, genre scenes, comic subjects, and Orientalist images, these foundries often produced a sizable variety of erotic bronzes. The two-part erotic pieces are scarce. The most commonly found feature a satyr and nymph who can be placed in a variety of positions, from innocent to indecent (some of these mythological couplings are currently being reproduced). Another rare piece features a prone nude aboriginal man blowing on the beginnings of a campfire while a lady friend sits nearby; in this piece, both figures are free from the base and can be fitted together so that they appear to be lighting a completely different type of fire. This is the first two-part naughty bathing scene theme I have seen.