Impressive cold painted Orientalist bronze group of an Arab Slave Trader proudly showing off his goods for sale in the form of a beautiful young woman seated on the plinth. The bronze has excellent original naturalistic cold painted colours and fine intricate detail, raised on a marble base and signed with the Bergman ‘B’ to the back of the drape
Celebrated for his great attention to detail and wonderful vibrant colours, Franz Xavier Bergman (1861-1936) is, arguably, the most famous of the Viennese cold-painted bronze artists, delighting in producing Oriental and animal subjects, including the walking elephant, rabbits, foxes and horses.
His father, also Franz Bergman (1838–1894), was a professional chaser (embosser) from Gablonz, Austria who came to Vienna and founded a small bronze factory in 1860. Franz Xavier inherited the company and opened a new foundry in 1900. There he created numerous cold painted (so named because the numerous layers of polychrome paint, applied to the bronze, were not fired to fix them to the metal) figures. Many other bronzes were still based on designs by Franz Bergman, the elder.
Erotic Subjects – Arab Slave Trader
Bergman was noted for his detailed and colourful work. Look out for Bergman’s distinctive signature marks: a ‘B’ in a vase shape and ‘Nam Greb’. This latter, which reads ‘Bergman’ in reverse, was often used on his more erotic pieces, which were not to the taste of his more conservative clients or his family. These include sensuous poses of young women in the Orientalist style, sometimes the erotic nature of the subject was disguised by a covering that revealed all when a button was pushed or a lever moved. Carefully sculpted animals, such as owls, could often be opened to reveal an erotic female figure inside.
Animal figures can, occasionally, be found for a few hundred pounds, though sculptures in pristine condition and larger figures can be worth several thousand pounds. Value is affected by condition. The cold painted decoration is relatively easy to damage and worn Enamel will reduce value considerably. Restoration can also reduce the value considerably, especially when done in a non-sympathetic manner.
For a further selection of sculptures by this artist click on Franz Bergman Sculptures
- £ 3,850
- £ 695
- £ 3,850
- £ 8,750
- Sold Out Sold Out!Sold Out! Sold out Franz Xavier Bergman, Sold ArchivePOA
- £ 4,850
- £ 1,450
- £ 2,850
- £ 1,950
- £ 1,750
- £ 2,850