Re: Re: So, what is this worth? (Part 123)
123a – Late 19thc Bronze BELL BUTTON, TURTLE Figural, FINE AND RARE
Here is a nice bell, superb animal bronze sculpted table bell, a sophisticated model, the head of turtle forming push button. The push bell is electic, and in very good condition. Pretty model, something rare, a spectacular bell, more than one century old, which we guarantee.
Dimensions: 11 cm (4.4 in) and 6.8 cm (2.7 in).
French working, unmarked 1900s or early twentieth century.
Condition: good, nothing is broken,there is some traces of wear, on the old patina; this item is a little object of Art.
We saw one of these previously, in Part 81a, but that one was missing the base.
This one seems complete and is probably in working order.
Notice that only the head will activate the switch,
not both head and tail as with the mechanical bells.
123b – Jugendstil Tischklingel Peter Tereszczuk Arthur Rubinstein Bronze 1900 Wien
Sie bieten hier auf eine Jugendstil Tischklingel um 1900, Wien
Design / Entwurf von Peter Tereszczuk , Gießerei Arthur Rubinstein
Höhe ca.: 12,5cm
Art Nouveau table bell Peter Tereszczuk Arthur Rubinstein Bronze 1900 Vienna
You are bidding on an Art Nouveau table bell c. 1900, Vienna
Design by Peter Tereszczuk, foundry Arthur Rubinstein
Height approx: 12.5 cm (5 IN)
Another bell push by Peter Tereszczuk.
123c – antique Franz Bergman bronze bell lamp switch owl skull glass eyes dental 1890
Incledibly rare find, we have a vienna bronze atribuited to Franz Bergman which is a switch to a electric bell, as you can see from the photos the wires are almost destroyed with age seems a shame to remove them they could be used to hang it on display, the wires lead down ito the skull and attatch to the switch wich has a small bone button ( they used bone to prevent electric shocks i guess ) electric bells became comercial in around 1881 Im confident this switch will date to circa 1880s – 1890s, its heavy for it size solid bronze very fine detail to the carving the owls eyes are glass, its 7cm in hight, as far as Im awear at the date of this Bergman was the main bronze maker that could produce sure finely detailed practical useable items on such a scale he made many lamps and and other electrical items from bronze so im confident it is by him. Comparisment bronze owls can be easily found on google by bergman that have no mecanical aspects. It has a great yellow mustard golden patina to the unpainted bronze that is exactly the colour this type of bronze and of this age should be, the switch section at the base can be opned by removing the tiny screw as shown in the last photos which give access to the switch inside.
When i purchased it in Germany I was informed it was used in a dental practice to activate the bell in the waiting room as the recptionist was also the assistant to the dentist, this seems correct as it is a contact switch rather than a click swith so the contact is only formed while the button is pressed, the owl and skull have often apeared in history showing wisdom when connected with medical and masonic imagery, the practice may have been owned a dentist freemason, or its representing wisdom teeth 🙂
I will ignore the numerous spelling errors, as that may tell you something about the seller.
The seller says the bell push is attributed to Franz Bergman, without offering the source of the attribution.
Bergman was a large and well known foundry at that time, offering a large variety of items from dozens of different designers, but there were at least fifty other bronze foundries in Vienna at that time. The better known ones would mark their work, such as in the case above with Artur Rubenstein [AR] , and Fritz Bermann – FBW (Fritz Bermann Wein). Bergman’s usual mark was a B inside an Urn symbol. Some of his work was marked NAMGREB (Bergman backwards). Occasionally it would also be marked Geschutzt (Registered or Trademarked), or Austria if it was intended for export to the USA. If a piece is not marked, I would think there is no reason to assume it was made by Bergman.
This could be considered a Memento Mori (Remember your mortality) item, popular in religious art and writing in the Middle Ages and though about 1700. By 1900, it strikes me as somewhat grotesque and macabre.