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, March 18, 2021

A Glimpse of Stocking

                                                        In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking
But now, God knows
Anything goes

Cole Porter, "Anything Goes," 1934

Another member of the toothsome toothpick tootsies troupe, this nubile art nouveau nymph lifts the flap of her flowing robe to expose her bare hip and a glimpse of a rather un-nymphlike black stocking. Of excellent bisque and beautifully modeled, this 5.25 inch tall lissome lass is from the same mystery maker as her sensuous sisters, all attached to a precolored bisque toothpick or match holder of some form (in this case, a tall handled basket). She is marked only with a freehand "16" in black under the basket. Although she resembles some of the black-stockinged belles by the German firm of Schafer and Vater, her beauty is more generic, lacking the unique character of Schafer's laughing ladies, and frankly, the quality and finishing of these toothpick tootsies tends to be better and more consistent than that of Schafer. Although Schafer was perhaps the epitome of creativity and comedy among the German porcelain manufacturers, its quality control was often rather lax.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Something Fishy

An earlier post on this blog featured flapper bathing belles inspired by the works of illustrator Anne Harriet Fish, which included a Willam Goebel perfume bottle with a pair of pretty bathers. I have since acquired another example of this scarce bottle with its even scarcer top, which is shaped like a black and pink parasol.