When I was at the Potteries Museum some visits ago, I noticed an early Bawdy Barmaid, beautifully enameled in a Lakin and Poole type palette. Quite yummy. Frankly, I can't remember what went on under her dress, but I assume that the naughty hole was present. What I do remember is that her dress was draped very prettily at the back, and I thought "Hmm, Myrna, wouldn't this look good in your collection?"....so I have been watching.
This Bawdy Barmaid now sits on my shelf.
While I waited for the figure to arrive, I contemplated the mindset of an owner who liked this figure enough to keep it---but just HAD to cover the hole. After all, even if there are children in the house, who looks? Has a visitor ever flipped over your figure to check beneath? The Puritanical mindset that wanted the figure but just had to cover a hole that nobody knew was there amused me. This had to have been done a long time ago, I thought. After all, today nobody would care. Long-time-ago was good for ease of removal. Natural, non-synthetic materials should just float away in some water.
When the barmaid arrived, this is what she looked like. A little out of focus...sorry, but it is the only shot I have. I couldn't wait to get her into a bucket of water.
As the brown stuff slowly lifted away, I noticed something strange. A long curly hair, painted onto the surface emerged at the edge of the once-covered area. Dear Reader, at this point I leave the rest to your genteel imagination. Suffice it to say, this Bawdy Barmaid lacked a hole. Instead, she was realistically painted (VERY realistically painted) in colors that included shades of flesh. red, and brown. No, I will not be adding a picture to our G-rated blog.
I know of only four early Bawdy Barmaids, so these are quite rare. And at last, I have a figure that my children may be interested in looking at! Meanwhile, notice the smile on my Barmaid's face....her lipstick has slipped. Seems the painter missed the mark with his paint and planted two lips firmly in the middle of the chin.