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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Naughty and Nice

At first glance these pretty pin dishes seem nearly identical. Each is of excellent sharp bisque and portrays a beautiful bathing belle in a green bathing suit and matching bonnet rising from the waves. The lovely ladies are superbly sculpted, from their ruffled bonnets to their slim arms with graceful hands to the gently lapping whitecaps. However, turn them over and you discover that they are not quite identical twins. . . 

On one, the waters have parted to expose the bather's bare bottom, while on the other the ocean discretely keeps its secrets. Both dishes are about 4.75 inches wide; the modest maiden is incised "6352" underneath while the more daring damsel carries only an incised "5." 

A close up of the risqué sister. By tweaking an existing mold a manufacturer could appeal to different clientele without having to create an entirely new model. 


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