I should be finishing up my draft of a biography of a rel life pinup, but Silent Porn Star has me obsessed with vintage plaster nudes. You know I love and collect pinups, right? (Most recently evident in my inclusion in Pin-Up Queens: Three Female Artists Who Shaped the American Dream Girl at Collectors Weekly.) Including the more risque ones. So why not the 3-D sculpture variety? (Not to mention, I already have a rather serious large vintage chalkware collection these could slide right into.)
[Because I have that other very in-depth, heavily researched article to wrap-up, this is going to have to be a short — though heavily image laden — post.]
There are the most expected Grecian and classical knock-off pieces, to be sure; and the cheap circus and carnival types, with crude or less-polished looks too.
But among them — and pricier by far, are more the art nude and pinup varieties.
Some of them appear to have been handpainted — by the consumer. (Something you can still do today.) But others were clearly sold as final works.
In Dan Goodsell‘s collection, “‘Nudist Scamps’ statuettes; charming, well-posed girls who resembled Fred Moore’s famous pinups in 3-D. These are attributed to a Verdan Lolayne of Hollywood, California. Later called(or acquired by)’Rick’s Figurines’.”
According to a past auction listing at WorthPoint, one of these vintage figurines had a paper tag on the bottom that reads “created by d bensinger hollywood california 1945 manufactured by rick’s figurines.”
Paper labels, rather than embossed or impressed markings on the plaster itself, may be more than partly to blame for us not knowing who designed and/ or manufactured these pieces.
Some of the pieces are, however, marked. This vintage “Hawaiian” nude chalk ashtray is marked “Plastic Arts” and is signed “Gillette” with “The Best Lei In Hawaii” on the base.
What separates all these vintage pieces from the coveted pieces currently under obsession from the above is what also the most alluring about them. The vintage plaster or chalkware figurines have little fabric skirts or loincloths which may come on as modest cover-up, but which really reveal the most about human nature. Most men refer to their dolls as “action figures” and these pieces are no different. No, we’re not talking sex dolls here; but they certainly offer more erotic masturbatory appeal than the others. For before you even know what lies beneath, even when you assume it will be the usual and disappointing smooth generic V, you just have to do more than just look at these figurines — you have to brush the fringe aside with your finger tip and get a look. Surprise, these vintage pieces show the genitalia!
Oddly enough, for vintage pieces depicting “exotic” or “sepia” female beauties, the pubic mounds are sans hair.
Aren’t you just dying to flip the grass skirt made of string aside on this vintage piece by what appears to be Ferguson Studios?
Not all of the pieces with “skirts” or “clothing” were as explicit. This vintage “hula girl” simply has the “smooth V”. However, she is a much more crude piece in terms of all-over quality, including the skirt.
I’m not sure if the lace skirting on vintage plaster wall piece is original, or what it hides…
Ditto this marked piece from Canon Art Statuary U.S.A.
This piece, in an Art Deco style, is less risque, but she has a real string bow.
Quick collectors’ notes:
* Most all appear to hail from the 1940s and 1950s.
* Size range appears to be between 7 and 17 inches.
* The more pinup style pieces and art nude poses range in price from $30 to $60; the more beautiful and fine the piece, it may even reach $100. The more explicit pieces are range from $100 – $200.
If anyone can add more the story of these vintage smut collectibles, please do let Silent Porn Star or I know!