late 15th century
Object Place: Europe, Austria
Overall: 33 x 20.5 cm (13 x 8 1/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Green glaze. Gothic arch with fleurons and finial (top broken off), framing a concave interior with raised decoration of a fool, bearded and with fool’s cap, arms outstretched holding a scroll, in architectural frame with arch supported by twisted pillars and background of raised X’s. Scroll inscribed: W 0 1 55 A (upside down) I l (J)? Lower edge of right side of frame entirely chipped off, large chip on right interior rim, ships in glaze of left rim.
Adalbert von Lanna (b. 1836 - d. 1909), Prague; March 21 - 28, 1911, posthumous Lanna sale, Rudolph Lepke, Berlin, lot 585, probably to Oscar Bondy (b. 1870 - d. 1944) and Elisabeth Bondy, Vienna [see note 1]; 1938, confiscated from Oscar and Elisabeth Bondy by Nazi forces (no. OB 867) [see note 2]; stored at the Central Depot, Neue Burg, Vienna, and probably removed to Alt Aussee [see note 3]; 1945, recovered by Allied forces and subsequently returned to Elisabeth Bondy, New York; probably sold by Mrs. Bondy to Blumka Gallery, New York [see note 4]; June 2, 1960, sold by Blumka to R. Thornton Wilson (b. 1886 - d. 1977), New York; 1960, gift of R. Thornton Wilson to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 8, 1960)
 In a letter from R. Thornton Wilson to Perry Rathbone of the MFA (June 8, 1960), Oscar Bondy is said to have acquired this from the Lanna collection.
 With the Anschluss, or annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany in March, 1938, the possessions of Oscar and Elisabeth Bondy were seized and expropriated almost immediately by Nazi forces. This tile is listed in a Nazi-generated inventory of the collection (July 4, 1938; Vienna, BDA-Archiv, Restitutions-Materialen, K 8/1), as no. 867 ("Grüne Nischenkachel mit Halbfiguren eines Königs mit Spruchband, deutsch um 1500, 33 x 21"). Also see Sophie Lillie, "Was einmal war: Handbuch der enteigneten Kunstsammlungen Wiens" (Vienna, 2003), p. 226, where it is listed in a later inventory of Bondy's possessions as well (April 3, 1939; Vienna, BDA-Archiv, Restitutions-Materialen, K 8/3).
 Many works of art stored elsewhere by the Nazis were moved to the abandoned salt mines of Alt Aussee in Austria, to be kept stafe from wartime bombing.
 Mr. Bondy and his wife left Europe and emigrated to the United States, where he passed away in 1944. In the years following World War II, much of his collection was restituted to his widow and subsequently sold on the New York art market, particularly through Blumka Gallery. For further on Oscar Bondy, see Sophie Lillie 2003 (as above, n. 1), pp. 216-245.
Gift of R. Thornton Wilson in memory of Florence Ellsworth Wilson