Requires Photography

Three Carolers

German (Nurnberg)
16th century

Object Place: Europe, Germany


Overall: 19.1 x 22.6 x 5.1 cm (7 1/2 x 8 7/8 x 2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Polychromed earthenware

Not On View





Polychromed Hafner group in high relief; initialed on book: [inscription] bottom left corner missing; breaks below cuff of man holding up chalice, and both men’s heads at neckline; paint losses on entire surface.


Initialed on book.


Oscar Bondy (b. 1870 - d. 1944) and Elisabeth Bondy, Vienna; 1938, confiscated from Oscar and Elisabeth Bondy by Nazi forces (no. OB 220) [see note 1]; 1940/1941, acquired by the Museum Carolino Augustineum (Landesmuseum), Salzburg; about 1947, released by the government of Salzburg to the United States Forces in Austria for return to Elisabeth Bondy, New York [see note 2]; probably sold by Mrs. Bondy to Blumka Gallery, New York [see note 3]; May 8, 1970, sold by Blumka to R. Thornton Wilson (b. 1886 - d. 1977), New York; 1983, bequest of R. Thornton Wilson to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 12, 1983)

[1] 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 sculptural group is identifiable in an undated photograph of a room in Bondy's Vienna home (copy in MFA curatorial file) and is included in a Nazi-generated inventory of his collection (July 4, 1938; Vienna, BDA-Archiv, Restitutions-Materialen, K 8/1), no. 220 ("Dreifarbiges Terrakottarelief (Teilstück) trinkende Bauern, Meister C. V. 19 x 21, m 17. Jh."). Also see Sophie Lillie, "Was einmal war: Handbuch der enteigneten Kunstsammlungen Wiens" (Vienna, 2003), p. 234, where it is listed in a later inventory of his possessions as well (April 3, 1939; Vienna, BDA-Archiv, Restitutions-Materialen, K 8/3).

[2] This relief is listed among the objects that were acquired by the Salzburg Museum from confiscated collections, and were reported to the U.S. Forces in Austria in a letter of July 15, 1947. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD, Microfilm publication M1927. The individual claims and general records of the Monuments and Fine Arts Branch of the United States Element, Allied Commission for Austria (USACA) Section, 1945-1950. File 408/17, Monuments & Fine Arts-Inventory Lists of Art Depots.

[3] 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 Lillie 2003 (as above, n. 1), pp. 216-245.

Credit Line

Bequest of R. Thornton Wilson in memory of Florence Ellsworth Wilson