• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7578

    20th Century Decorative Art & Design

    30 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 49

    FERDINAND PREISS

    LIGHTER THAN AIR, CIRCA 1925

    Price Realised  

    FERDINAND PREISS
    LIGHTER THAN AIR, CIRCA 1925
    cold painted bronze and ivory, on marble and onyx plinth
    13¼ in. (33.5 cm.) high
    engraved mark to brass presentation plaque "Lighter than Air" by Ferdinand Preiss Ada May, the underside of the bronze plinth marked 55 hMCH


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    Pre-Lot Text

    The works of German sculptor Ferdinand Preiss evoke twin strands of contemporary German culture. His more exotic subjects - such as the Bat Dancer, Torch Dancer and Autumn Dancer - are strongly redolent of the effervescent decadence associated with the cabaret culture of Berlin during the Weimar years from 1919 to 1933. Other figures - for example the Archer, Youth and the Skater - reflect the new focus on youth, vitality and sport that was an integral component of the Modernist spirit.ticism that was to culminate in the Berlin Olympic Games, 1936.
    The outbreak of war in 1939 had a detrimental effect on the Preiss workshop. The cessation of international trade cut off lucrative foreign contacts and by 1940 the use of metals for any manufacture that was not central to the war effort was prohibited by the Reich.


    Literature

    Alberto Shayo, Ferdinand Preiss, Art Deco Sculptor, The Fire and the Flame, Suffolk, 2005, p. 183. (design illustrated).