Trumpeting Angel

German (Upper Rhineland, probably Offenburg)
Medieval (Gothic)
about 1475–1500
Unidentified artist

Object Place: Europe, Rhineland/Meuse/North Germany, Germany


40.6 x 38.13 x 39.4 cm (16 x 15 x 15 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone; painted sandstone

Not On View





This trumpeting angel is a boss, a block that marked the intersection of rib vaults on the ceiling of a Gothic church. Decorative bosses were common features of German architecture, especially from the thirteenth century onwards. Imagery of music was popular in church interiors, reflecting both the music of religious ceremonies and the belief in music’s close association with heaven.


Possibly Mason's mark on back


Possibly from a church in Offenburg, Germany [see note 1]. 1927, Hugo Benario, Berlin; April 5, 1927, Benario sale, Lepke, Berlin, lot 101. Carl von Weinberg (b. 1861 - d. 1943), Frankfurt [see note 2]. By 1956, Wilhelm Henrich (d. 1980), Frankfurt; 1956, sold by Henrich to the MFA for $596.50. (Accession Date: December 13, 1956)

[1] According to Hanns Swarzenski's curatorial recommendation for the object's purchase (December 13, 1956).

[2] In 1938 Carl von Weinberg was forced to sell his entire art collection and his home to the city of Frankfurt for its museums. In 1939 he fled Nazi Germany and emigrated to Italy, where he died in 1943. In 1945/46 Allied forces recovered from Frankfurt museums the objects that had been sold under duress. Carl von Weinberg's property was restituted in 1950 to his son-in-law, Richard von Szilvinyi (d. 1966), who consigned much of it to the dealer Wilhelm Henrich for sale. At the time of its acquisition, this sculpture was said to have come from the Weinberg collection, which suggests that it was among the objects restituted and consigned to Henrich. However, it has not been identified in the list of 208 sculptures seized in 1938 from Weinberg, which went to the Stadtische Galerie, Frankfurt, and were returned.

Credit Line

Charles Amos Cummings Fund