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, March 18, 2022

Reunited. . .

. . . and it feels so good
Reunited 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited 'cause we're reunited, hey, hey

"Reunited," Dino Fekaris and Freddie Perren, 1978

The spill vase of the lissome lass preparing to dive next to a giant water lily has been in my collection for many years. However, at a recent serendipitous nearby estate sale, I came across her matching mate, a man in a similar striped bathing suit leaning against an identical oversized lily. From his appreciative smile as he admiringly gazes upon the diving damsel, I think he is happy they are finally back together. These bisque vases are each about 4.75 inches tall and are unmarked, although they are certainly of German origin.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Baby Beach Beau

A little late for Black History Month, but this sensitive and superbly sculpted bisque figurine portrays an African-American toddler in striped swimming trunks giving himself a saltwater sponge bath by the seaside. Created the German company of Gebruder Heubach and of excellent shape bisque, this bouncing bathing boy is 5 inches tall.

Although the incised marks are difficult to see against the textured background of his trunks, he is marked "COPYRIGHTED" in a circle on the back and carries the Heubach sunburst mark on his right hip.

His warm brown complexion is delicately shaded and there is a subtle rosy blush on his cheeks. His features are ethnic, but are not exaggerated for comic effect, as was often typical of figurines of this era. Instead, this is a sweet realistic portrait of a young boy, so typical of the charming children by Heubach.