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.

Friday, February 19, 2021

On a Pedestal

Certainly any lady this lovely deserves to be on a pedestal. This bisque belle by the German firm of Galluba and Hofmann comes attached to her original stand, which is covered in golden velvet and adorned with real seashells. No doubt she once wore a bathing suit of silk net or lace, now lost to time. I suspect she may have been a high-end souvenir for an exclusive spa or seaside resort. The entire assembly is 7.5 inches high (the lass alone is 6.5 inches).  She wears molded white ballet-style bathing slippers and is marked with a blurred 400 number on the back her base of molded foliage.

The unusual base is of a deep green hard substance (possibly pasteboard), with an incised diamond pattern underneath. I do not know if the base is a creation of Galluba or a jobber who purchased figurines from the company for use in its own designs. 


Monday, February 1, 2021