A collection has to begin somewhere, and this one is my first. I wasn't intending to collect more; it just happened. I don't get excited over porcelain figurines or knick knacks, but the Germans have a way to turn everyday kitchen objects into something whimsical and fun -- never meant for actual use, of course -- and my collection slowly grew as I happened upon them. As far as I know, no one is able to attribute them to a particular porcelain factory as they are not marked (there were over 200 at the turn of the century in the Thuringian region of Germany) and probably several of the factories had a hand in creating these fanciful ladies, all holding some item which doubles as the spout. The heads (lids) are removable. This is called "Benzin Frau," or Gasoline Woman, all decked out with goggles, scarf and fur coat.
This pair of Vegetable Ladies were made from the same mold and topped off with different heads. Painting one dress blue and another pink differentiates them even further. The spout on both is a large cucumber. One frequently finds rhymes about the virtues of staying away from alcohol stenciled on their aprons. Written in old German script, it is an indication of an early piece.
In this unusual example, the lady is wearing pants (unheard of in those days). On her purse the words "Hosen Kavalier" are inscribed, Hosen being the German word for pants. This is obviously done tongue in cheek making a reference to the German comic opera by Richard Strauss, "Rosen (roses) Kavalier." The sculptor did not forget to include the roses, however. Notice her hat. Again, her scarf encirles her and is used as a handle.
Welcome to Living Tastefully’s “Antique of the Week” page. Our love of antiques is reflected in every aspect of our everyday lives. We are passionate about collecting and also love functional antiques that can actually be used and not only admired. Hopefully we can inspire you to incorporate antiques in your home and your life to add charm and beauty to your surroundings.