This is a fabulous ten piece miniature orchestra, by the renowned Franz Xaver Bergmann. This is from my personal collection of Vienna Bronze orchestras. It is adorable, with the mice in tails (formal tails plus their own.... smiling). Seriously, this is a very rare miniature orchestra. These are true rarities since the painting is extremely difficult. They had to use special small brushes, sometimes with just one hair and they painted them under a strong magnifying glass. These bronzes are very much sought after and you do not find the authentic ones very often.
This orchestra is a bit different than many. It includes an accordian, which I have not seen in other orchestras. It also has the conductor with his baton and sheet music on a stand; the singer holding his (or her) sheet music; a percussion group with cymbals, drum and triangle; string section with violin and double bass and harpsichord (or piano); and a flautist for the wind instrument section.
SIZE: The mice are 1 " (2.5 cm) tall, however, some figurines are a little taller considering the sheet music or a larger instrument etc.
CONDITION: Good with just minor paint losses. Original paint, no restoration, no repairs, no touch ups! Please do not forget that you are buying a used item that always may show some traces of wear!
MARKS: Bergmann logo (B in the urn) and AUSTRIA
CIRCA: 1900 - 1920.
This is one of the rare antique cold painted Vienna or Wiener Bronze cast in the traditional lost wax technique (cire perdue) by FRANZ XAVER BERGMANN, the renowned workshop which created great pieces with the highest quality level and the highest collectors and resale value!
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.
A well-known New York shop (and catalog) are still offering modern knock-offs made marked FBW and they charge much more, even though the quality is not comparable, painted with acrylic colors (the old recipe is lost) with less detail and extremely expensive for a reproduction of less quality.
Their margin must be enormous if you compare with our offers. Please remember that Bergmann is spelled with a "g"!
PROVENANCE: Vienna Bronze Gallery
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.
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