HERSCHU (Herbert SCHULTZ) Figurative Art - Sport Landauline coachwork design by Alexis Kellner AG for the Maybach Type 12.
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HERSCHU (Herbert SCHULTZ)
Sport Landauline coachwork design by Alexis Kellner AG for the Maybach Type 12.

1930

About

Gouache and watercolour heightened with gum-arabic on cream card, annotated in pencil with body type below, numbered ‘71’, in upper left corner, German copyright stamp on verso, 27 x 42 cm. Finished in black with matching solid disc wheels, a contrasting textured panel inset to the doors, presented against a landscape background with a large complex of buildings to the left, this stylish 2-door landauline was one of many variant designs around the underpinnings of Maybach’s awesome V-12 engine and running gear, introduced in 1929. It was actually achieved by marrying two 6-cylinder units at a 60 degree angle. The company was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son Karl, as Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH, producing engines for the burgeoning airplane and airship industries, including for the famous Zeppelin. It was rebranded Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH in 1912, as the scope of application widened to include rail locomotives, and by 1919 they experimenting with their own motorcars. From 1921 to WWII, the name Maybach became synonymous with powerful and luxurious motoring, its engine and chassis designs readily lending themselves to the creative imaginations of such coachbuilders as Kellner. Founded by Alexis Kellner (1880-1953) in 1910, in Berlin, the eponymous Alexis Kellner AG coachbuilding company’s stylish automobile bodywork designs were immediately successful. This was demonstrated by the number of orders he received at the International Motor Show, in Berlin, in 1911. Kellner was noted for his inventiveness of small details, such as a concealed handle behind the driver’s seat for quickly and easily raising and lowering the car’s roof, concealed bonnet hinges, for aesthetic as well as aerodynamic reasons, and a suitcase mounted on the running board. The company’s success reached its zenith in the 1920s, when it was famed for the luxury bodies it designed for such prestigious manufacturers as Audi, Austro-Daimler, Bugatti, Cadillac, Horch, Maybach, Mercedes, and others. This popularity stemmed from both the highly stylish external lines and the sumptuously appointed interiors. This emphasis on sensuous indulgence was even reflected in the company’s pioneering use of nude women in its advertising. But, as with so many manufacturers dependent on wealth and stability in the market, its fortunes crashed in 1929, and Alexis Kellner was declared bankrupt in 1930. The brand name and patents were sold to arch-rival, Drauz in Heilbronn, against whom Kellner had launched a plagiarism suit in 1920 over a particular body design, who shrewdly maintained the Kellner name for its sales company. The stylishness of Kellner’s coachbuilding was perfectly captured and presented to the public by the artistry of Herbert Schultz. Unlike the flamboyant designs he portrayed so skilfully, Schultz was a modest man, despite being a creative all-rounder. In 1818, as a commercial artist and caricaturist working for the Berliner Tageblatt, he gained the admiration of fellow contributor, the artist George Grosz. Schultz had only recently come to Berlin, having graduated from the Royal Academy of Graphic Arts in Leipzig, followed by a spell at the Kunstakademie in Hamburg. Schultz’s skills as a graphic artist lent themselves perfectly to illustrating promotional catalogues to appeal to Alexis Kellner AG’s affluent clientele, which had included the royal household. Always signing his work as ‘Herschu’, he presented these imposing designs against subtle open country landscapes, glamourous night cityscapes, or floating in isolation against a solid ground. Following the demise of Alexis Kellner AG, Schultz’s ongoing artistic career was finally blocked by the Nazi state when he refused to part with his half-Jewish wife. So the Herschu name faded, as did that of Kellner, only for both to be rekindled now in these recently rediscovered, breathtaking, design.

Details

  • Artist
    HERSCHU (Herbert SCHULTZ) (German)
  • Creation Year
    1930
  • Medium
  • Dimensions
    H 10.63 in. x W 16.54 in. x D 0.2 in.H 27 cm x W 42 cm x D 5 mm
  • Gallery Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    LU4704417841
  • Seller Reference Number
    97454
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About the Seller

4 / 5
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Located in London, GB
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