Franz Bergman – Viennese cold-painted bronze lizard with a mechanical mouth

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Manufacturer: Bergman Foundry

Designer: Franz Bergman

Object: Lizard

Style: Art Nouveau

Material: Cold-painted bronze

Color: Bronze patina, cream-white, yellow, black and blue

Period: 1900 – 1909


This exquisite early 20th-century cold-painted bronze sculpture portrays a remarkably realistic lizard, showcasing the exceptional craftsmanship characteristic of the renowned Viennese sculptor Franz Bergman. Bergman, a prolific artist and manufacturer based in Vienna during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hailed from a family with a rich tradition in the art of bronze casting. The Bergman foundry, founded by Franz’s father, became synonymous with quality and innovation in bronze sculpture production.

Franz Bergman himself was celebrated for his mastery of the cold-painting technique, a method perfected by generations of Bergman artisans. His ability to imbue bronze sculptures with lifelike detail and charm earned him widespread acclaim among collectors and connoisseurs of fine art.

The bronze workmanship of this piece is of exceptional quality, capturing the intricacies of the lizard’s form with stunning realism. Notably, the sculpture features an interactive element: the lizard’s mouth can be opened using the right foreleg as a lever, adding a playful touch to its lifelike appearance.

Stamped at the base with a distinct “B” enclosed within an urn-shaped mark, alongside the signature are the markings “Geschützt” and the number “4133”. These additional markings further authenticate the piece and attest to its place within the Bergman catalogue.


Height: 70mm / 2.76”

Width : 165mm / 6.49″

Length: 230mm / 9.06”

Condition: Excellent


A Schiffer Book – Antique Vienna Bronzes – Jospeh Zobel. Page 11

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