Viennese cold-painted bronze and marble lamp of a pottery workshop

Attributed to Bergman, Franz Xaver (Austrian, 1861-1936)


The unusual and charming scene of craftsmen at a pottery workshop is beautifully enhanced with the expert use of the complex cold-painting technique.


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This outstanding cold-painted bronze figurative lamp depicts an interesting scene of two artisans crafting beautiful objects at a pottery workshop. The design is unusual for pieces of this type making this an especially desirable piece. It is attributed to Franz Xaver Bergman (1861-1937), one of the most important Austrian cold-painted bronze artists of the period.

The scene is filled with two figures, each one a craftsman responsible for a different task during the pottery production process. A man stands near a potter’s wheel making vessels for sale. His leg is raised to keep the wheel moving, while his hands are occupied ensuring the piece is of the desired shape. The sitting man on the right is responsible for the decoration and finishes of the vessels. He is seen concentrating, his gaze focused on the vase in his hand, while he carefully paints red patterns. Both figures are dressed in traditional Orientalist clothing.

The scene is set in a pottery workshop, its architectural features inspired by Islamic architecture. The wall behind the protagonists is adorned with a beautiful and vibrant rug rendered in shades of blue, red and gold, creating a superb background for the scene in front. Three pillars support the top construction, and in front of them is a display of finished vessels. Above is a tower, its design like that of a mosque. All sides of the tower include two arched windows with coloured (green and red) and textured glass insets. The domed gold roof above is surmounted by a crescent moon, a very important symbol of Islam. When switched on, the light beautifully illuminates the scene below and accentuates the colours and patterns of the glass.

The lamp includes the following marks: ‘AUFF’, ‘MADE IN AUSTRIA’, and a ‘B’ in an urn-shaped cartouche. The superb sculpture is mounted on an elegant marble base, its colours matching that of the bronze piece.

Showcasing craftsmen at work, this magnificent lamp would make an eye-catching addition to an interior space.


Artist / Maker
Attributed to Bergman, Franz Xaver (Austrian, 1861-1936)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
c. 1910
Early 20th Century


46 cm / 18.1 inches
26 cm / 10.2 inches
16 cm / 6.3 inches


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