Large Austrian Cold Painted Bronze Duck By Bergman, Vienna, Mallard, Door Stop
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Large Austrian Cold Painted Bronze Duck By Bergman, Vienna, Mallard, Door Stop :
Fabulous antique Franz Bergman bronze statue of the mallard. It has a wonderful cold painted polychrome combination - anyone who has seen this beautiful duck up close will appreciate the detail, especially the color.
Size - Height 9in, Width 4in, Length 7in - this is one large statue compared to many smaller size animal bronzes by Bergman. It is also significantly more detailed than many others. I've tried to take the best photos possible and demonstrate the greatness and quality, yet it is still much better in person. Feathers are extremely detailed and sharp even painted and are comparable to bronzes with solid color patina. Figure weighs 5.0lbs.
It is marked in two areas. Most important marking is Bergman hallmark in the shape of the vase with B inside located on the duck's bottom. Above Bergman foundry mark, iswritten Austria. Below Bergman hallmark, it is stamped KF with a diamond which according to few references stands for Karl Fehrman who was Bergmanbronze dealer and later took over operating the foundry. Based on the location of the KF diamond stamp, I believe it was added after casting(soft stamped) sincespacing is not unifrom compared to the rest of the labels. Finally it is stamped Geschutzt (meaning patent or patented) followed by the patent number 6429.
Duck is also signed C Kauba on the left side near the tail - this in my opinion adds value to the piece since many bronzes made at the Bergman foundry were not signed. It is well documented that many 'anonymous' artists produced wonderful bronzes only to carry Bergman foundry hallmark and not the artist signature. Considering Carl Kauba is more than well accomplished sculptor, this piece definitely has its place in the reference books.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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Good luck and you will not regret buying this piece considering long term value prospects ofbronzes with Bergman amphora.
Franz Xaver Bergmann (1861–1936) was the owner of a Viennese foundry who produced numerous patinated and cold-painted bronze Oriental, erotic and animal figures, the latter often humanized or whimsical, humorous objects d'art. Noted for his detailed and colorful work, and signing either a 'B' in an urn-shaped cartouche or 'Nam Greb' - 'Bergman' in reverse. These marks were used to disguise his identity on erotic works. His father Franz Bergmann was a professional chaser from Gablonz/Bohemia who came to Vienna and founded a small bronze factory in 1860. His son Franz Xaver Bergmann (1861 – 1936) inherited the company and opened a new foundry in 1900. Many of the bronzes from the 1900s were still based on designs from his fathers workshop. He was not a sculptor himself as often described wrongfully. There were many anonymous sculptors, hired temporarily by the workshops. At the turn of the 19th/20th Century there were about fifty workshops producing Vienna Bronzes. 'Cold painted bronze' refers to pieces cast in Vienna and then decorated in several layers with so called dust paint; the know-how for the mix of this kind of paint has been lost. The color was not fired hence "cold painted". The painting was carried out mainly by women working at home, a typical cottage industry.
Carl Kauba was born August 13, 1865 in Vienna, Austria. The son of a shoemaker, Kauba chose to follow his calling into the world of art. Collectors now rank him in a class with Remington and Russell as one of the great portrayers of American Western. His subjects were typically American Indians, calvarymen, cowboys, and roughriders. In addition to his American bronzes, Kauba produced a lifetime’s worth of Austrian statuary. His work has been fully appreciated on both sides of the Atlantic. Carl studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under professor Laufenberg. Later he would study at the academies under Carl Waschmann and Stefan Schwartz and in Paris in 1886 to further study. Kauba’s fascination with the West was fed by the stories of the German writer, Carl May, whose tales of Western adventures were known throughout Europe. It has been suggested that Kauba traveled to the American West when he was about twenty-five years old, possibly returning to Austria with voluminous notes, sketches, and several models of Western sculpture. However the majority of scholars feel that the artist actually never traveled to the United States at all, but instead relied upon the accounts of others and first hand artifacts to execute his bronzes. Without a doubt, his work is most worthy of artistic merit. His bronzes, all produced in Austria, were of the American West. The polychrome finish, intricate detail, and the realistic forms make Kauba’s sculptures excellent examples of Viennese bronzes at the turn of the century. Most were cast for the American market between 1895 and 1912 and were widely advertised and sold by Latendorfer in New York during the 1950’s. In contrast to most artists, Kauba’s business successes were equal to his artistic achievement. He was able to maintain for his wife and three children a comfortable lifestyle. Kauba’s studio and home were in direct proximity of each other, allowing him more freedom in allocating his time. Kauba personally directed the casting of his clay models in local foundries. Kauba expressed a great affection for Indians of the American West. He loved ornament, and this detail is seen in the reins of his horses, Indian headdresses, weapons, and costumes. He frequently created scenes of high drama depicted in his bronzes of cowboys and Indians. Kauba’s work is in the Harmsen Collection of American Western Art. After his death in 1922, his son continued the business operation.