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, November 5, 2020

Pillow Talk

Posing provocatively on her pillow, this extraordinarily lovely lady is by my favorite maker of bathing belles and nubile nudes, A. W. Fr. Kister. She is from the company's series of languid beauties cast in creamy white bisque, carefully highlighted with subtle washes of pale golden-yellow, giving the impression of a sculpture carved in ivory or marble. She displays the superb realistic sculpting, graceful pose, and expressive features typical of Kister.  Of the finest bisque, this figurine is 5.25 inches long and 3.5 inches high. 

Under the cushion, the piece is incised with the cross-hatched "S" of Kister and "11281."

Here she appears in the company catalog. Note that the item number is identical to the incised numeral on the figurine.


  1. Hi Sharon, I just bought the 2005 version of your book second hand & have now found your blog. I live in Scotland & got a couple of Bisque ‘where is the mouse’ flippers in an auction recently and was intrigued as I hadn’t seen anything like them before. I mainly collect antique & vintage toys but also love unusual ceramics.

  2. As you can see, I also love the unusual and odd. Thanks for visiting my blog.