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, August 26, 2022

Mit Bastkleidern

Recently I posted these pages from an original Hertwig and Company catalog. The pages are from the section of the catalog dealing with earthenware (feinsteingut) and the figures portrayed, women in a variety of provocative poses and several chubby children, are referred to as "Neger" (Negro). All have exaggerated ethnic features and molded tufts of curly hair. Most wear short "grass" skirts of raffia ("bastkleidern"), necklaces made out of several strands of thin wire, and molded large disk earrings. To our modern sensitivities these figures are shocking stereotypes, but they are a reflection of the attitudes of their era.

This all-original example from my collection is inventory number 4880 on the page, one of a pair. She is out of a light-weight material with painted dark skin and features and is 5 inches long.

These figures were clearly derived from molds used in Hertwig's series of precolored bisque bathing beauties.

Another all-original example, she is also one of a set, shown as inventory number 7116.

Again showing the family resemblance between these earthenware Black figures and Hertwig's pink bisque bathing beauties.

This figure corresponds to inventory number 7252 on the catalog page and was offered singly.

This standing example appears to be inventory number 7117 in the catalog.


No comments:

Post a Comment