Saturday, December 27, 2014

Vienna Austrian Bronze Dogs

Bronze has been a favored medium of sculptors for centuries. Early methods of casting the metal into masterpieces involved the use of a sand-cast mold, which was an one-off approach. The later introduction of the lost wax process not only allowed for finer details and more exotic shapes, but also made multiple copies of these figures and sculptures a reality.

In the latter part of the 19th century the world embraced the industrial revolution. The artistic world employed changes in technology as well. By adjusting the ratio of copper to tin in the bronze alloy, and using slightly thicker wax molds, the production of multiple copies of bronze items was extended beyond the relatively few copies made in the past, to multiple copies made in a modern production-like style. These bronzes still displayed the craftsmanship and design of the artists, but now more people could enjoy their works.

The craftsmen of Vienna have a long history of producing exquisite bronzes. From the great masterpieces of the Renaissance, to industrial production of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to the beauties of Art Nouveau, the straight forwardness of Arts & Crafts and geometric intricacies of Art Deco and Modern Art, the Austrians have remained at the top of the metalworking pyramid.

Franz Xaver Bergmann (1861 – 1936) was the owner of one of the most famous foundries in Vienna, noted for his detailed and colorful work. He produced many erotic and exotic figurines in Asian and Art Nouveau motifs. He also made large numbers of highly detailes patinated or cold-painted animal figurines. At the turn of the century, tourists would bring these art pieces home with them as souvenirs of Vienna.

We have a few wonderful examples of his work available at Vintages ... online and in the shop. Take a look ...

These marvelous hounds are real treasures.

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