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.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Bring on the Dancing Girls!

Certainly any collector would want to bring on any dancer as delicate and delightful as this lovely lass.  Of excellent porcelain and beautifully sculpted and decorated, she is 11 inches tall, not including her wooden base.

Although unmarked, she appears in the 1911 catalog of Dressel, Kister, and Company, confirming not only her maker, but that her base is original as well. This must have been a popular pose, as Dressel offered this luscious light of the harem in a variety of sizes and outfits (or no outfit).

Joining the chorus line are two more Dressel dancing damsels. All have their tresses in coiled braids over their ears and while the gorgeous gal in green has donned a turban, the other two wear their hair in a low chignon in the back. The nubile nude is bisque, while the other two are china. 

Another image from the Dressel catalog. 

A back view reveals that these ladies are equally lovely both coming and going. The details and workmanship are exquisite. For example, the center dancer's outfit has been decorated to give the appearance of sheerness and she is stepping out of her slipper as she rises on tiptoe.

This antique cigarette case carries a nearly identical image. Dressel often copied popular paintings and postcards of the day, but so far I have been unable to locate the original image that appears to have inspired both the case and figurines.


No comments:

Post a Comment