This exotic dancer poses prettily on a oriental rug in the center of a onyx ashtray. However, this nuatch dancer has a naughty secret. . . .
as her hinged skirt lifts up the in front, unveiling her (literally and figurally). Of detailed bronze, cold-painted in subtle colors, this harem dancer is 6.25 inches tall. Two corners of the 7-inch wide ashtray have gilt metal plaques engraved with the names “MORTON” and “KIKI.”
Her supporting sash covers most of her marking across her lower back, but similar dancing damsels are incised with a stylized urn containing a "B" and “Nam Greb.” The urn mark is of the Viennese foundry of Franz Xaver Bergmann, which produced detailed bronze sculptures from the 1860s until 1936. Along with more innocent subjects, such as the miniature animals, comic images, and Middle Eastern scenes, the foundry produced erotic bronzes, often featuring woman whose beauty could be bared by lifting a piece of drapery or pressing a button or an object, such as an owl or an Egyptian sarcophagus, that opened to expose a nubile nude within. The erotic subjects are often marked "Nam Greb," the reverse of Bergmann's name (minus one "n"). Upon the death of Bergmann's son, the company's molds and remaining stock were sold in 1954 to Karl Fuhrmann and Company. Currently, there are high-quality and costly reproductions from Bergmann's molds are being cast in Austria, and there are also cheaper and poorer quality copies of some of the erotic Bergmann models coming out of Europe, China, or India. These latter pieces have poor modeling and blurred details, may be garishly painted or patinated, and the female figurines' figures often have been slimmed down (but their breasts enlarged) to cater to modern tastes. Many of these bronzes, whether recast from an original mold or carelessly copied, still carry the Bergmann or Nam Grab marks. This vamp in a veil is probably one of the most copied Bergmann erotic bronzes.