Eberhard Encke (German, 1881-1936); An Important Pair of German Bronze Sculptures of Olympic Athletes, after the monumental marble versions from 'The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games'   SIGNED IN CAST; 1936
Lot 90* TP
Eberhard Encke (German, 1881-1936); An Important Pair of German Bronze Sculptures of Olympic Athletes, after the monumental marble versions from 'The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games'
SIGNED IN CAST; 1936
£ 20,000 - 30,000
US$ 26,000 - 39,000

Amended

Important Design

21 Nov 2018, 13:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
Eberhard Encke (German, 1881-1936); An Important Pair of German Bronze Sculptures of Olympic Athletes, after the monumental marble versions from 'The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games'   SIGNED IN CAST; 1936 Eberhard Encke (German, 1881-1936); An Important Pair of German Bronze Sculptures of Olympic Athletes, after the monumental marble versions from 'The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games'   SIGNED IN CAST; 1936 Eberhard Encke (German, 1881-1936); An Important Pair of German Bronze Sculptures of Olympic Athletes, after the monumental marble versions from 'The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games'   SIGNED IN CAST; 1936
Eberhard Encke (German, 1881-1936); An Important Pair of German Bronze Sculptures of Olympic Athletes, after the monumental marble versions from 'The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games'
SIGNED IN CAST; 1936
two bronze figural sculptures, each depicting two athletic nudes, running in relay, captured mid-stride, respectively carrying aloft a gilt oak leaf branch and wreath; mounted on yellow marble stone bases with applied bronze titles 'OLYMPIA – BERLIN – 1936' ; together with purpose made hardwood platforms (not photographed)
the female athletes signed in cast 'ENCKENCI NEUBABELSBERG B '36 RG', 77cm x 30cm x 80.8cm (approx. 89cm high with branch); the male athletes signed in cast 'ENCKE 1936 NEUBABELSBERG', 77cm x 30cm x 80.8cm (approx. 81.5cm high with wreath) (2)

Footnotes

  • These seemingly unique bronzes are casts of Eberhard Encke's enormous and imposing marbles which stood outside the entrance of the Summer Olympic Games held in Berlin in 1936.

    Eberhard Encke is perhaps not as known as his father, but these bronzes were cast in Neubablesberg, which is where his father the well-known German sculptor Erdmann Encke (1843-1896) had relocated to in 1892.

    The visual power and prowess of Eberhard's 4m high marbles went on to dominate the imagery of these games. The feeling of movement and agility, and quality of the casting captured in these bronzes, so perfectly represents the athleticism of the sports men and women who were competing in those games.

    They could have had one of two original purposes; to be the smaller models executed before the undertaking in marble, for presentation and/or approval, before the costly task of carving; or a private commission produced after the games, as a result of the popularity of the larger stone versions.

    Much of Eberhard Encke's work was for public buildings or monuments, executed in stone or bronze, other works by him include;
    - A portal relief at Mannesmann House in Dusseldorf, 1912.
    - The facade decoration on the central building of the administration building of Continental AG in Hanover, around 1913.
    - A monument fountain in Treuenbrietzen, of Elector Frederick I of Brandenburg, 1913 (monument melted down in World War II).
    - 'Rosse leading Dioscuri' on the building of the German Embassy in Saint Petersburg, 1912 (destroyed in 1914).
    - Pugilist for the Fehrbelliner Platz in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, life-size bronze group, awarded in 1912 with the Golden Prussian Medal for Art, erected in 1923 in nearby Prussia Park (lost).
    - Pugilist for the Rathausplatz in Harburg a. d. Elbe (today Hamburg-Harburg, Harburger Rathausstraße), 1913, second casting of the sculpture group in Berlin-Wilmersdorf.
    - Figures and gable relief for the crematorium in Berlin-Wilmersdorf.
    - Two rabbit figures on the railing of the rabbit jumping bridge in Berlin-Grunewald, erected in the 1920s.

Saleroom notices

  • Since the publication of the Important Design catalogue we have had the following information relating to this lot directly from Friedmanne Encke, the grandson of Eberhard Encke; The family have in their possession a pair of these bronzes. There was a second casting (of the male athletes at least) for the "Neue Reichskanzlei" in Berlin, a photograph exists of them in situ (available on request), the building was destroyed between 1949-1953. The pair that we are offering could be from the Neue Reichskanzlei, or a third casting. Friedmanne Encke believes this casting was done by the Berlin foundry 'Noack', as his family's versions are. Also - please note the large sculptures referred to in the cataloguing of this lot which stood outside the Brandenburg Gate of the 1936 Berlin Olympics were plaster, not marble.
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