This fantastic Art Nouveau Viennese Coffeehouse for Dachshunds is an amazing larger scale bronze diorama by the incredible workshop of Fritz Bergmann. Truly an outstanding state of the art bronze, exceptionally crafted. Certainly one of the finest, if not THE finest, art bronze you will ever see.
This is a diorama which is a true museums piece, showing you the diversity of these great Austrian creations and at the same time a fabulous example of the exceptional craftsmanship that became lost forever when the foundry closed their doors many decades ago.
I have seen and purchased several dioramas, however, none like this one, in this quality, with this outstanding teeny tiny detail. Not to forget the good condition for the age.
Most of the dioramas have just two walls. They are nice but compared to this one relatively `simple', by far not that elaborate. This particular piece is so much better than the photos show. The details are amazing. The way the cups are stacked on the shelf; the pastries on the tiered serving piece on the counter; the detailed doors (outside and in); the lamps on the back wall; the writing on the menus; the cups that appear to be one with marshmallows (probably hot chocolate) and the other with what looks like whipped cream on top (maybe a fancy cappuchino?); all told this is simply among the very best I have ever seen.
The bar, the entrance and such amazing detail definitely took a couple of days, if not a week, to create, everything handmade, and if you would produce such a thing custom made today with the modern technology I am sure it would become more costly, compared to a rare antiquity by a famed workshop. When Bergmann bronzes are offered in the upscale New York galleries, many on 5th Avenue, you will see a price tag much higher than this. One of them on 5th avenue in NY has sales prices usually that are triple, often more. (I have seen the price tags).
DIMENSIONS: ca. 2 1/8 " (12.5 cm) tall, 8 7/8 " (17.5 cm) long and 3 1/2 " (9 cm) deep
CONDITION: Good with just minor paint losses. Original paint, no restoration, no repairs, no touch ups!
MARKED: Bergmann logo (B in the urn), AUSTRIA, VIENNA and Geschützt
PROVENANCE: Vienna Bronze Gallery Kurt Kutt Art-E-Fact I have been buying exceptional Vienna bronze rarities from Mr. Kutt for quite a few years. His background and expertise is stellar, and he is considered one of the top authorities on Vienna Bronze here in the U. S. as well as in Europe. Mr. Kutt informed me that he had purchased this diorama from a well reputed Viennese old auction house, one of the oldest in the world, several years ago, and the authenticity is definite.
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 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.
Sensuous poses of young women in the Art Nouveau style were disguised by a covering that revealed all when a button was pushed or a lever moved. Often carefully sculpted animals, such as bears, could be opened to reveal an erotic figure inside.
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