Lot 58: Bergmann Vienna Bronze 'Large Courting Wood Grouse', c. 1930
April 4, 2014
Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
Bronze, cold painted
Austria, around 1930
Manufactory Bergmann (est. 1860) - Producer of Vienna Bronzes
On the back the can-shaped manufacturer's mark
Rare, large sculpture
Naturalistic designed wood grouse
Dimension: 49 x 22.5 x 24 cm (height x width x depth)
Very good Condition
Provenance: from a German private collection
Vienna bronze in the form of a large wood grouse in naturalistic cold painting and a true collector's item
This Viennese Bronze was made in the early 20th century and captivates by its very naturalistic design in beautiful cold painting. Represented is a wood grouse with its magnificent plumage, which belongs to the largest galliforms in Europe. This shy bird is especially native in the needle, mixed and deciduous forests and puts high requirements on its environment. Here the courting bird is shown on a gnarled branch. In this position he has his head tilted slightly to the ground, spread his wings and his tail is erect. The large sculpture clarifies the masterful craftsmanship and enjoys great popularity until today.
This Viennese Bronze is in very good condition hardly any signs of age and wear. The manufacturer's mark in form of can is visible on the back. The height measures 49 cm, the width 22.5 cm and the depth 24 cm.
The term 'Vienna Bronze' refers to very fine cast bronzes from the period of around 1880 to 1930. The very naturalistic small sculptures depict human figures, often with exotic features, humans and animals, humorous illustrations as well as erotica. The bronzes were so fashionable that there were 80 companies in Vienna which concentrated on these products. A large number of significant artistic works was melted during the world wars to meet the metal needs of the artillery, thus the bronzes are now not only treasures but rare collectibles. The most famous manufacturer of Vienna Bronzes was the Manufactory Bergmann.
Franz Xaver Bergmann (1861-1936)
Franz Xaver Bergmann was the son of a bronze caster with the same name who had a small bronze foundry in Vienna. Bergmann inherited the foundry of his father and reopened it in 1900. Many of the designs however, stem from the old sketch books of his father. The foundry was especially famous for its very naturalistic cold painted animal bronzes. Cold painted bronzes differ to fire glazed ones as the glaze can be applied in more layers. The knowledge on how to cold glaze is lost, which makes the Bergmann bronzes especially valuable.