Austrian cold-painted bronze lamp of a water seller under palm tree


Stunning with its vibrant colours and animated scene, this beautifully refined cold-painted bronze lamp depicts an Arab filling up a vessel.


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This very fine antique bronze sculpture was crafted in Vienna in the early-20th century, and depicts a simple yet highly authentic scene.

Beneath a towering palm tree stands a lone Arab, who is preoccupied with the task of transferring water. On his back he holds a waterskin made from animal hide, from which he carefully pours the liquid into two larger vessels. The waterskin is likely made from goat hide, since goat skin bottles were typically used to transport water across the Arabian peninsula at the time, and this careful attention to contemporary details adds to the authenticity of the lamp’s design. The man’s expression is intently focused on the task at hand, his muscles taut with the effort of pouring, which further creates a sense of realism in this scene.  

The vibrant colours of this bronze are a clear stand out feature. The use of the cold-painting techniques has allowed the maker to render the Arab’s robes, which are of the traditional Orientalist style, in bright shades of orange and red. This palette catches the viewers eye, and beautifully complements the natural hue of the bronze.

The etching on the sculpture is also very fine, with intricate details added to the leaves and trunk of the palm to replicate the natural textures of the tree. Hidden amongst the overlapping leave is a small light fitting, which transforms this already superb piece of sculpture to a utile object which illuminates the scene below.

The figure and tree are placed upon a bronze base, which is carved to replicate a stony outcrop. The underside of the base is stamped ‘AUSTRIA’.

With its fine attention to detail and heartwarming scene, this bronze lamp would make a magnificent addition to the home of any Orientalist collector.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
c. 1910
Early 20th Century
Figurative Art, Orientalist
Brown, Metallic, Orange, Red


44 cm / 17.3 inches
18 cm / 7.1 inches
15 cm / 5.9 inches


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