Artists have created pictures of naked women for centuries and many of the paintings and sculptures are now displayed in museums or homes.
But some collectors are more interested in “naughties,” a group of 3- to 6-inch-long bisque figurines made from about 1910 to 1940.
The women were posed as if lounging on a beach.
Some were made with colored bathing suits and slippers, some wore nothing but a removable lace bathing suit. The others were made for a shelf.
The women had angelic tinted faces and often mohair wigs and fabric caps.
There were even mermaids, which were popular as an underwater feature in a fish tank.
They represent the erotica of an earlier period.
Most of the “naughties” or “nudies” were made in Germany by Hertwig & Co., Limbach or Galluba & Hoffman.
A 31/2-inch seated lady with a tulle swimsuit made about 1910 sold at a Theriault’s auction two years ago for $684.
Prices are lower this year.
Unfortunately, the original molds for these figurines still exist, and many reproductions and fantasies have been made.
Q. I have started collecting tin globes that are meant to show the world or are used as banks or even games. Most are made by J. Chien or Ohio Art Co., both manufacturers of toys since the 1930s. I can now afford some better globes. What should I look for?
A. Globes have been made since the days of the ancient Greeks, but probably the earliest known today is a Nuremberg globe. It was finished in 1493, but soon became outdated because it had an empty ocean where the American continents would soon be reported. You probably can find many American globes made in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The first U. S. globe maker was James Wilson and he cleverly made his globes an inch larger than the British competition, advertising that his were bigger and better. Look for 1930s to 1940s globes made by Rand McNally, Weber Costello, Cram, Hammond or Replogle. After World War II, the boundaries of countries changed so often that it makes it easy to date your globes. Today, changing boundaries and country names are an even greater problem for globemakers, but they help the collector looking for vintage globes.
Q. When was the furniture company Coppes, Zook and Mutschler Co. in business?
A. Coppes, Zook and Mutschler Co. was incorporated in 1902 and operated under that name until 1914. It was started by brothers Frank, John, and Samuel Coppes, brother-in-law Daniel Zook, and brothers Albert and Charles Mutschler. All of the men were related by birth or by marriage. The Mutschler Brothers left the business to set up their own company after Zook died in 1913. The new company, Coppes Brothers & Zook, specialized in making kitchen cabinets.
Q. What is the difference between Hummel and Goebel figures?
A. In 1871 Franz Detleff Goebel and his son, William, founded F. & W. Goebel in Oeslau (now Rodental), Germany, to make slates, slate pencils and toy marbles. By the early 1900s, Franz had retired, William was in charge, the company was called W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik, and the factory was making quality porcelain tableware items and figurines. In 1934, grandson Franz Goebel saw the drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel (Berta Hummel, 1909-1946) and got permission to model porcelain figures based on her artwork. The first Hummel figurines were born in 1935. Goebel made Hummels until 2008, and another company now makes them. But Goebel is still in business and makes many types of porcelain figurines and gift wares. Bottom line: Hummel figurines made between 1935 and 2008 are by Goebel, but not all items marked Goebel are Hummels.
Q. I just discovered a black box of Brownie Crayons. There is a small picture of an elf on the front. I have joined a new group of adults who meet once a week to crayon or paint in elaborate adult coloring books, which are now bestsellers at bookstores. I was going to use the crayons, but an antique-collecting member of the group said the elf is a “Brownie” and the box may be collectible.
A. Yes, you do have a Brownie. Palmer Cox (1840-1824) wrote and illustrated a series of children’s stories about the Brownies, part of Scottish folklore. The books had pictures with dozens of small Brownies. They have large round eyes, downturned mouths and skinny legs, and like to play harmless tricks. They are dressed for work as firemen, policemen, postmen, children and other characters in the stories. Brownies were so popular they became an identifiable trademark. The Kodak Brownie camera probably is the best known today. They also inspired the name “Brownie” for young Girl Scouts, and many games, dolls, dishes and other collectibles. Your crayons were made by the American Crayon Co. of Sandusky, Ohio, about 1900, before Crayola brand was introduced. If the box and the crayons you own are in very good condition, they are worth about $50 to a collector.
Q. How can I remove a stain in a bowl? There weren’t any stains on it until I took it out of the dishwasher. Bleach was suggested, but I don’t want to take any chances until consulting with an expert.
A. It’s OK to use bleach if the glaze isn’t cracked or damaged in any way. You could try soaking the bowl in a strong solution of dishwashing detergent and water for about 24 hours or try using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It may not be possible to remove the stain.
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