‘Bismarck bekrönt mit Herzogskröne’ (‘Bismarck with Crown of Duke’)
‘Moltke bekrönt mit Grafeskrone’ (‘Moltke with Crown of Count’)
Created between 1872 – 1922, by Foundry Lauchhammer (1725 – until know).
Height: 56 cm.
At the back the Lauchhammer mark from 1872-1922, and the text ‘Gesetzlich Geschützt’ (‘Protected by Law’).
At the back of both reliefs the foundry mark of Lauchhammer used from 1872 – 1922.
Left: the Herzogskröne’ (‘Crown of Duke’) of Bismarck.
Right: the Grafeskrone’ (‘Crown of Count’) of Moltke.
Lauchhammer created between 1872 – 1922 in total 6 similar reliefs -with crowns- for prominent men in the 19th century. All reliefs are 56 cm high, have a specific number at the back, and bear the foundry mark which Lauchammer used from 1872 – 1922. Iron casts painted gold/bronze.
1. Bismarck with crown of a Duke
2. Moltke with crown of a Count
3. Goethe with crown of Faun, Girl and Leaves
4. Kaiser Wilhelm I with Kaiser-crown
4. Kaiser Friedrich II with Kaiser-crown
5. Kaiser Wilhelm II with Kaiser-crown
From left to right: Bismarck, Moltke, Goethe.
The three emperiors who all ruled in 1888, the Year of the Three Emperiors.
From left to right: Kaiser Wilhelm I, Friedrich II, Wilhelm II.
Left: Bismarck plaque by Lauchhammer, located in Museum Schloss Wernigrode, in Wernigrode. The collection of the museum consists of works of art from 1803 – 1918.
Right: Bismarck plaque by Lauchhammer, located in the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama. Donated by the ‘American Cast Iron Pipe Company’ (incorporated 1905) in 1986.
‘The Iron Century’
Cast Iron in Germany: the cultural-historical significance of iron casting during the 19th century.
Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast bronze sculpture is often called simply ‘a bronze’. Artists were working with bronze even in ancient times, such as in the Greek and Roman civilizations. The first known bronze statue is likely ‘Dancing Girl’ from Mohenjodaro (Pakistan), belonging to the Harappan civilization and dating back to c. 2500 BC. However, the Greeks were the first to scale the figures up to life size: an example that is still in existence is ‘Victorious Youth’, a life-size bronze made between 300 and 100 BC.
Casting iron sculptures is a technically different and more complicated process. Cast iron had been occasionally used in Europe in basic architectural embellishment in the Middle Ages, such as fire backs with cast figures and scenes. It was not until 1784 that the German foundry Lauchhammer, with the assistance of sculptors Joseph Mattersberger and Thaddäus Ignatius Wiskotschill, for the first time in Europe, successfully cast a life-size hollow sculpture in iron. The use of cast iron for sculpting in Prussia developed rapidly under the reign of King Friedrich Wilhelm III; from 1797 to 1840 the Berlin art scene operated on a high level, and several Berlin artists preferred iron for their works. Cast iron was more affordable than bronze, and in the 19th century, ‘The Iron Century’, a large number of high-quality sculptures -often with monumental dimensions – were produced. During the German ‘Freiheitskriege’ (Battles against Napoleon from 1813- 1815), the social valuation of cast iron had already increased. For example, there were successful war financing campaigns like Eisen statt Gold and the creation of the Eiserne Kreuz. The cultural-historical significance of iron casting during the 19th century was further catalyzed by Friedrich Wilhelm III, who had his palace decorated with cast iron art, produced in Prussia. Black-coated iron became an aesthetical mark in Klassizismus. Meanwhile, the popularity of cast iron sculpting was not limited to Germany. The first Crystal Place Exhibition in 1851 in London prominently showed a series of life-size iron sculptures, as did the Exposition Universelle of 1855 held on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It is notable that many sculptures and other iron art works in that time period were not signed by the artist or by the foundry.
The glory days of cast iron sculpting ended around the third part of the 19th century. The famous Königlich Preußische Eisengießerei (founded in 1796) closed its doors in 1874. The prominent Saynerhütte (founded in 1769) was sold to Firma Krupp in 1865, and it ceased the production of iron sculptures. Paradoxically, Foundry Lauchhammer (founded in 1725), which created the first cast iron life-size sculpture in Europe, is still in existence. A short renaissance in iron sculpting took place in the 1920s.
|– condition||: II-III restored by top restaurateur|
|– size||: 56 x 37 cm high|
|– signed||: Lauchhammer foundry mark of 1872 – 1922 at the back|
|– type||: iron|
Wall-reliefs in Renaissance style. Cast iron, both diameter 59,5 cm. Created by Lauchhammer.
Depicted is ‘Das Urteil des Paris‘ (‘The Judgement of Paris’), after a copper engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi around 1510-1520. Raimondi in his turn copied it from a drawing by Raffaello Sanzio or Santi (1483–1520).
The Judgment of Paris, the copper engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi around 1510-1520. Paris is sitting at left with Venus, Juno and Pallas Athena, a winged victory above; in the upper section the Sun in his chariot preceeded by Castor and Pollux on horseback; at lower right two river gods and a naiad above whom Jupiter, an eagle, Ganymede, Diana and another Goddess. A masterpiece of Renaissance printmaking, this work represents a high point in the collaboration between Raphael and Marcantonio. While Marcantonio sometimes worked from drawings created for other projects, in this case Raphael created the drawing for the sole purpose of having it engraved by Marcantonio. The engraver’s controlled, systematic line, curving around the figures, gives them a great three-dimensional presence.
Lauchhammer, Armorial Bearings. Iron, created around 1880. Height 64 cm.
Left: Ildefonso Fountain, Weimar
Weimar, Iron copy manufactured in 1793 by Lauchhammer. Placed in 1796 near the Holzhall of the Red Castle (Rotes Schloß). In 1824, the architect Clemens Wenzel Coudray (1775-1845) had it moved and set on a fountain in front of the Red Castle at the Burgplatz, where it still stands today after having been restored in 1994/95.
A plaster cast is located in the Goethe House in Weimar. It was acquired in 1812 by Goethe himself, and is now located on the landing of the first floor. Goethe wrote about this group: ‘Diese beyden Epheben waren mir immer höchst angenehm‘. He named them ‘Kastor und Pollux’.
The Ildefonso fountain is a cast iron copy of a marble group from the first century AD. Its findsite is unknown, but by 1623 it was in the Ludovisi collection at the Villa Ludovisi in Rome. In 1724 the group was offered to Philip V of Spain. Philip’s second wife Isabella Farnese acquired it for him and had it sent to the Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso (Segovia). From there it came into the Museo del Prado.
Right: Bad Freienwalde, iron copy manufactured in 1795 by Lauchhammer. The group was previously inside the castle, used to decorate a chimney-piece. It now stands in the gardens, in front of the castle.
Grave of Friedrich Alfred Krupp, 1902. Friedhof Bredeney, city of Essen. Designed by the Munich sculptor Otto Lang. The huge eagle was cast by Lauchhammer.
George Washington Monument, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1897. Sculpted by Rudolf Siemering (1835-1905) and cast by Lauchhammer. The monument was donated to the city of Philadelphia by the State Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania, a group of descendants of Revolutionary War officers. The bronze monument portrays George Washington in his role as commander in chief during the Revolutionary War. The face of the rider was made from an impression of the former president made while he was still alive; the body was actually of a Prussian General.
The Luther Monument in Worms, 1868
The Luther Monument in Worms is the largest Reformation monument in the world and contains nine statues and eight portrait medallions of the most important figures in the Reformation. The concept of the monument was by Ernst Rietschel, who made two of the statues himself (Luther and John Wycliffe). Three other sculptors made the other statues: Adolf von Donndorf (Girolamo Savonarola, Peter Waldo, Frederick the Wise of Saxony, Johannes Reuchlin and Magdeburg), Gustav Adolph Kietz (Jan Hus, Philipp Melanchton, Philip of Hesse, and Augsburg) and Johannes Schilling ( Speyer).
The monument was cast by Lauchhammer. The foundry made after casts of the statue of Luther (the main figure of the memorial), which were placed in Washington (1884) and St. Louis (1903).
Two sculptures cast by Lauchhammer (designed by Ferdinand Lepcke), Hohenzollernplatz, Berlin
Left: ‘Bogenspannerin’ (‘Nude female Archer’). Lifesize, created in 1997 after an original plaster model in the possession of Lauchhammer.
Right: ‘Phryne’. Lifesize. Aftercast, also by Lauchhammer. Placed opposite the Bogenspanner in 2008.
Left: ‘Helvetia and Geneva’, Geneva, 1869. In 1869 Lauchhammer created ‘Helvetia and Geneva’, the Swiss National Monument in Geneva. With this work, the sculptor Robert Dorer symbolized Geneva’s integration into the Swiss Confederation on 12 September 1814 with two women each carrying a sword and shield, the Republic of Geneva and Helvetia. Proudly perched on their pedestal, both look north in the direction of the rest of Switzerland.
Right: Ernst Rietschel Memorial, 1875, Brühlsche Terasse, Dresden. Bronze bust on a column with three reliefs. The columns stands on a triangular pedestal with three allegorical figures symbolizing drawing, sculpting and chiseling (resp. man with book, young man sculpting a bust of Christian Daniel Rauch, and young man with statuette). Sculpted by Johannes Schilling (1828 – 1910). Cast by Lauchhammer.
Left: ‘Goethe-Schiller-Memorial‘, 1857. In 1857 Lauchhammer finished its Goethe-Schiller-Memorial (height 3.7 meters), located in front of the Deutschen National Theater in Weimar. The foundry produced after-casts of the sculpture (designed by Ernst Rietschel) which were located in San Francisco (1899), Milwaukee (1907), Cleveland (1906) and Anting (2006).
Right: the Egyptian royal Gezirah Palace in Cairo. From 1864 to 1825% Lauchhammer created the 300-meter-long and 400-ton cast iron arcade for the Egyptian royal Gezirah Palace in Cairo. The Gezirah Palace, previously owned by the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, is located in the Zamalek district on Gezira Island in the Nile, west of Downtown Cairo. The Palace is currently the central part of the Cairo Marriott Hotel complex.
1915, German Kaiser inaugurating memorial to fallen French, British and German soldiers (….….)
An inconvenient truth, not mentioned in school and history books.
18 October 1915, Kaiser Wilhelm II inaugurating the memorial to the fallen French, British and German soldiers. The Kaiser himself drew the first sketches of the two Greek warriors; also he contributed a large sum from his private funds for the creation of the monument.
Location: cemetery of St. Quentin, Rue de la Chaussée Romaine (Roman Street). St. Quentin, a city situated at the river Somme in northern France, occupied by German troops from 1914 to 1918. From 1916, it layed at the heart of the war zone, as Germany had integrated it into the Hindenburg Line.
St. Quentin was founded by the Romans, in the Augustean period, to replace the oppidum of Vermand as the capital of Viromandui (Celtic people who occupied the region). It received the name of Augusta Viromanduorum, Augusta of the Viromandui, in honor of the Emperor Augustus.
After 1918, the bodies of fallen French (and British) soldiers were exchanged for German ones who since then rest under French names (….…..).
The sculptures were cast by foundry Lauchhammer (source: catalog of Lauchhammer Kunstguss, 1938).
Photo: collection of Huis Doorn, The Netherlands (home of Kaiser Wilhelm II from 1918 – 1941).
In the middle: Wilhelm Wandschneider, creator of the two roman over life-size sculptures, in conversation with Kaiser Wilhelm II. Date: 18 October 1915.
The memorial in the 2010th.
Memorial of St. Quentin, small bronzes taken by Kaiser Willem II on his flight to The Netherlands
In possession of ‘Museum Huis Doorn’, The Netherlands. Huis Doorn was the residence-in-exile (1920–1941) of Kaiser Willem II following his abdication after WWI. It is a manor house and national museum in the town of Doorn in the Netherlands, the residence is appointed with early 20th century interior. Between September 1919 and February 1922, five trains pulling 59 carriages transported 30.000 objects to The Netherlands from Wilhelm’s palaces in Berlin and Potsdam to furnish Huis Doorn; -including the two small bronzes.
Left: Bronze, created in 1915, height 49 cm. Cast by foundry Lauchhammer.
Right: created in 1915, height 50 cm. Cast by foundry Lauchhammer.
Polish regents Mieczyslaw and Boleslaw
Lauchhammer’s bronze statues of the first Christian Polish regents Mieczyslaw and Boleslaw (after Christian Daniel Rauch) in the Posener Dom attracted great attention. Before their actual installment, they were shown at the Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung 1840.
Orangery in the Neuer Garten, Potsdam (New Royal Garden)
In 1780 Lauchhammer became the first European foundry to successfully cast life size hollow sculptures in iron. In 1784 Lauchhammer, with the assistance of sculptors Joseph Mattersberger and Thaddäus Ignatius Wiskotschill, created for the first time ever an iron after cast from an ancient Bacchantin. In 1792 the Prussian architect Carl Gotthard Langhans designed an oven for the Orangery in the New Royal Garden (‘the Neuer Garten‘). Its base featured a device to facilitate the circulation of heat, which took the form of an antique sculpture, the Flora of the Capitoline Museums, which was copied from a plaster cast from the Royal Collection held in Berlin. It was Lauchhammer who molded the plaster cast in iron.
Left: ‘Kaminplatte für den Berghof des Führers’ (‘Fireback for Hitler’s Berghof on the Obersalzberg’). Cast in 1936 by Lauchhammer. Size 1,12 x 1,49 meter. Commisioned by the Atelier Troost, designed by Prof. Leonard Gall. Depicted in the catalog of foundry Lauchhammer, 1938.
Right on top: ‘Relief für Reichscredit Gesellschaft, Berlin’ (‘Relief for the Reichscredit Gesellschaft, Berlin). Cast in 1937 by Lauchhammer. Size 5,5 x 4,4 meter. Designed by August Rhades. Depicted in the catalog of foundry Lauchhammer, 1938.
Right, below: ‘Kaminplatte für Karinhall’ (‘Fireback for Carinnhall’). Cast in 1937 by Lauchhammer. Designed by professor Herbert Zeitner. Depicted in the catalog of foundry Lauchhammer, 1938.
Left: ‘Bronzetür für das Tannenbergdenkmal’ (‘Bronze door of the Tannenberg Memorial’). Created in 1936. Size 3,22 x 1,77 meter. Designed by Barbara von Kalckreuth. Depicted in the catalog of Lauchhammer, 1938.
Right: ‘Einer der für die Ehrentempel in München gelieferten Pylonen‘ (‘Fire Bowl on iron stand in the Temple of Honour in Munich‘). Four of these ‘Pylonen‘ for the Ehrentempel at the Köningsplatz were created in 1935 by Lauchhammer. Height 2,75 meter. Desiged by sculptor Goebel, Munich. Depicted in the catlog of Lauchhammer, 1938.
‘Einer der Adler für ein Dienstgebäude in Berlin‘ (‘Eagle for a public office building in Berlin‘). Iron cast, created in 1937. Height 2,30 meter, wide 2,40 meter. Designed by Walter E. Lemcke. Depicted in the catlog of Lauchhammer, 1938.
Foundry Lauchhammer was established on 17 July 1725 in Lauchhammer, a small town at the border of Saxonia and Prussia. Baroness Benedicta Margareta von Löwendal, wife of the Oberhofmarschall from Kurfürstentum Sachsen, Woldemar von Löwendal, founded the iron foundry, after the discovery of large quantities of iron-containing rock formations in the area. After her death in 1776, the heir Count Detlev Carl von Einsiedel took over the Herrschaft Mückenberg and the foundry Lauchhammer. Count Einseidel had himself established, from the 1770s onwards, a plaster collection of 882 pieces specifically to be replicated in cast iron. The items were either direct replicas of antique sculptures or else copies made from other plaster collections. In 1780 Lauchhammer became the first European foundry to successfully cast life size hollow sculptures in iron. In 1784 Lauchhammer, with the assistance of sculptors Joseph Mattersberger and Thaddäus Ignatius Wiskotschill, created for the first time ever an iron after cast from an ancient Bacchantin. In 1788 followed the memorial ‘der Frau von Herculaneum’ for the Schloss Mückenberg (the after cast made in the year 2000 is still located in the park of the castle). In 1792 the Prussian architect Carl Gotthard Langhans designed an oven for the Orangery in the New Royal Garden in Potsdam (‘die Neuer Garten‘). Its base featured a device to facilitate the circulation of heat, which took the form of an antique sculpture, the Flora of the Capitoline Museums, which was copied from a plaster cast from the Royal Collection held in Berlin. It was Lauchhammer who molded the plaster cast in iron.
In 1793 the foundry cast the Ildefonso Fountain in Weimar, currently located in front of the Red Castle at the Burgplatz. A plaster cast, acquired by Goethe himself in 1812, is located in the Goethe House in Weimar. The Ildefonso fountain is a cast iron copy of a marble group from the first century AD. Besides sculptures, which Count Einseidel placed in the parks of his properties in Mückenberg and Wolkenburg, Lauchhammer also started to produce industrial articles for the building and machine industry.
In the beginning of the 19th century, Lauchhammer started up bronze casting. Lauchhammer’s bronze statues of the first Christian Polish regents Mieczyslaw and Boleslaw (after Christian Daniel Rauch) in the Posener Dom attracted great attention (before their actual installment, they were shown at the Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung 1840). After that, Lauchhammer’s bronze statues were displayed at numerous exhibitions worldwide; at the World Exhibition in 1855 in Paris, Lauchhammer was awarded a gold medal.
In 1857 the foundry finished its Goethe-Schiller-Memorial (height 3.7 meters), located in front of the Deutschen National Theater in Weimar. Lauchhammer produced after-casts of the sculpture (designed by Ernst Rietschel) which were located in San Francisco (1899), Milwaukee (1907), Cleveland (1906) and Anting (2006).
From 1864 to 1825% Lauchhammer created the 300-meter-long and 400-ton cast iron arcade for the Egyptian royal Gezirah Palace in Cairo. In the same period Lauchhammer finished, after seven years of work, the Luther Memorial by Ernst Rietschel, in the city of Worms. This largest Reformation Memorial worldwide, consisting of 12 statues, 8 busts, 6 reliefs and 24 coat of arms of cities, was revealed on 25 June 1868. Lauchhammer made after casts of the statue of Luther (the main figure of the memorial), which were placed in Washington (1884) and St. Louis (1903).
A year later, in 1869, Lauchhammer created ‘Helvetia and Geneva’, the Swiss National Monument in Geneva. With this work, the sculptor Robert Dorer symbolized Geneva’s integration into the Swiss Confederation on 12 September 1814 with two women each carrying a sword and shield, the Republic of Geneva and Helvetia. In 1875 the foundry cast the Ernst Rietschel Memorial in Dresden. In 1897 the Lauchhammer foundry finished the creation of the George Washington Monument, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sculpted by Rudolf Siemering, the monument was donated to the City of Philadelphia by the State Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania, a group of descendants of Revolutionary War officers. In 1902 Lauchhammer created the huge bronze eagle on the grave of top industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp, at the Friedhof Bredeney, city of Essen (designed by the Munich sculptor Otto Lang).
After WWI Lauchhammer also started with the production of church bells; it is estimated that between 1920 und 1939 around 500 bells were created. During the Russian occupation -the time of the DDR from 1945 to 1989- the production of church bells was ended. Lauchhammer cast the Figurengruppe des Mahnmals im KZ Buchenwald, a monument by Fritz Cremer. The foundry restored the Berlin Neptunbrunnen and the Mendebrunnen in Leipzig.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and after a privatization operation, the production of church bells was restarted. In 2015 the foundry produced its 800th bell after the Reunification.