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, July 14, 2022

What are the Wild Waves Saying?

As they roll upon the shore
What are the wild waves saying?
As they roll in more and more
They seem to say "I adore you
And I want your love to share"

Bonnie Beach and Johnny Noble, 1937

Kneeling on a round powder box shaped like an oversize hassock, this bathing belle lifts a sizable snail shell to her ear, no doubt to hear the roar of the ocean's waves. Of excellent china, this beautiful box is six inches tall and wide. 

 This svelte collector of sea shells is superbly modeled. 

Incised underneath is the Sitzendorf Porcelain Factory crown and crosshatched "S" mark. The company appears to have created a series of seaside-inspired powder boxes, as this bathing beauty's crabby sister appeared earlier on this blog.



  1. Hello, I love reading your blog, thank you! Question - are some legitimate bathing beauties completely unmarked?

  2. Yes, some authentic antique bathing beauties are unmarked. Originally the markings may have been on the box or label. On the other hand, because modern copies are often taken from molds of the antique originals, they may carry the same marks as the antique, unless the artist scratches them out or smooth the over.