Stove tile

about 1470

Object Place: Europe, Austria


Overall: 47.9 x 27.9 x 8.3cm (18 7/8 x 11 x 3 1/4in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View





Hafner ware, with St. George in a niche killing the dragon. Blue glaze of background largely missing, other colors white, yellow-brown, and green.


1938, Oscar Bondy (b. 1870 - d. 1944) and Elisabeth Bondy, Vienna; 1938, confiscated from Oscar and Elisabeth Bondy by Nazi forces (no. OB 860) [see note 1]; stored at the Central Depot, Neue Burg, Vienna, and probably removed to Alt Aussee [see note 2]; 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 3]; sold by Blumka Gallery to R. Thornton Wilson (b. 1886 - d. 1977), New York [see note 4]; 1961, gift of R. Thornton Wilson to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 11, 1961)

[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 tile is listed in a Nazi-generated inventory of the collection (July 4, 1938; Vienna, BDA-Archiv, Restitutions-Materialen, K 8/1), as no. 860 ("Nischenkachel mit Darstellung des Hl. Georg in den Farben, grün blau und manganbraun auf weiss, deutsch, 15. Jh., 51 x 26"). 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).

[2] 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.

[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.

[4] In a letter from Perry T. Rathbone of the MFA to R. Thornton Wilson (February 17, 1961; in MFA curatorial file), the author recalls seeing the tile "at the Blumka's". In a letter from Richard H. Randall of the MFA to Alfons Groneman (March 4, 1963; in MFA curatorial file), this object is said to have been purchased from Blumka by Mr. Wilson.

Credit Line

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