This example is a fake decorative figural bronze item in the form of a bulldog with a false applied mark, to assist in its being incorrectly identified. The intent is to make it appear to have been made by the Viennese factory of Franz Bergmann, well known for making whimsical figures called by collectors, Vienna Bronzes. It has been estimated that as much as 90% of bronzes identified as by "Bergman" ( the dropped "n" is an Anglicization) are either incorrectly identified, having been made by other makers, or they are outright fakes or reproductions. This creates a sad state of affairs for collectors of authentically old Bergmann pieces.
Some confusing items are made by other Viennese foundries, such as that of Bermann, a family business of the same period also specializing in small cold-painted bronzes. With one letter difference in the surname and two owners with the same initial, one of whom with the same forename, (Fritz and Franz), it is, perhaps, hardly surprising that there should be some confusion.
However, others are fakes that were deliberately made with the intention to deceive or modified to do so. The bulldog shown here is an example of the latter. It has the correct mark for the Bergman factory of a flask containing a capital "B" together with the word "GESCHÜTZT", a mark found on German and Austrian manufactured items intended to denote that the item is protected by copyright. There is also a number. The view of the figure from the side shows how the metal disc that holds the markings was attached. It stands out, just hanging off the side of the dog's body with no consideration for aesthetics.
Identically marked discs may be found affixed to bronze figures that were either unmarked or carried different marks now hidden by the disc. Reputedly, these discs were made and sold in quantity. On them all "GESCHÜTZT" is spelt "GESCHUTZT", without the necessary umlaut over the "U", and despite the shape or subject of the item onto which one of these discs is applied, all the model numbers on the discs are the same (8412). These spurious disc markings have found their way onto all kinds of items, thereafter falsely identified as by Bergman.
Measures 3 inches tall and 5 inches long.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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