I believe I inherited the "collector's gene" (or meme?) from my mother. She had a good eye for collectibles at a fair price. The German ashtray with the painting of a nude woman on the lid belonged to my mother. She bought it at a flea market in New York City in the 1960s.
Why I collect figurines of nude females is a bit tricky to answer.
It started with the appeal of Art Deco in general and eventually my interest in Deco items narrowed down to mostly Deco nude figurines, then branched off to other non-Deco female nudes. For some reason I have always liked Art Deco and the Deco-style nude form is very distinctive of that period and appealing to my sense of what represents the elegance and beauty of the ideal female form. The pieces are natural and full of life, dancing, playing with a ball, running with a dog, stretching, bathing, etc.
I look for pieces that are tasteful and not intended to be erotic (except for the Netsuke of the China girl in bathtub). The female form as depicted through various forms of art naturally appeals to my 'straight' eye, but I also like the execution of the pieces by the different ceramic companies, each having their own unique style, glaze, colors, etc. Lladro, and Royal Copenhagen being among my favorites.
I am also very fond of the German Deco pieces, such as the flower frogs and the figurines by Hutschenreuther. Some pieces caught my attention because I thought they resembled my wife in some way, such as the Lladro pieces of the nude young woman on the steps near a beach, or pool, and reclining on a towel.
Of course, the several mermaids are something altogether in a different category. I guess almost everyone has a fantasy creature they are fond of. Some like unicorns, others fairies, superheroes, etc. I like the mermaid. Some of my mermaids have two tails instead of the traditional single tail. I like that variation and also how the artist posed the figure. My favorites are the Dahl Jensen mermaid on the rock blocking the bright sun from her eyes with her hand raised above her head and that white Royal Copenhagen double-tailed modest mermaid kneeling upright with her hands covering her private parts. I was lucky to find that one as I have never seen it on eBay (or anywhere else) since.
Next >> Finding, Values and Age
Ashtray inherited from his mother. Colorful and detailed hand-painted enamel pastoral scene with nude woman by French artist Felix Alfred Bonnet (1847-1925) on metal lid of ceramic ashtray. It appears to be circa 1915 Germany according to a hand written note found inside the ashtray.