Another figure traced back

And another figure I’ve been interested in a very long time. It’s from The Book of Costume by Davenport. Like my figure from the Eton and/or Escorial Codices I have regularly tried searches based on the information provided in the figure descriptions. Normally a collection name . Even a reverse image search didn’t work.

Until it did. But not her. This is a pair of stove tiles at the Boston museum of fine arts and the details of the background match so perfectly. And now I realise why I thought she might have been part of an architectural element, the size of these tiles “68.6 cm (27 in.)” mean that yes the glazing blurs some fine details but they still show through.

DESCRIPTION Tile with portrait of Jacobea Maria of Baden.
PROVENANCE Igo Levi (b. 1887 – d. 1961), Lucerne. April 11-12, 1962, Levi sale, Weinmüller, Munich, lots 385-6. Edward M. Pflueger (b. 1905 – d. 1997) and Kiyi Powers Pflueger (b. 1915 – d. 2008), New York; 2006, bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2006)

Stove Tile – Works – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (

But wait, there’s more.

Description Figure of Sybilla of Saxony, on yellow ground, in shell-topped arch in blue and green.
Green skirt with yellow, blue and brown bands, blue bodice with green, white blouse,
plumed hat.
Provenance Igo Levi (b. 1887 – d. 1961), Lucerne; April 11-12, 1962, Levi sale, Weinmüller, Munich. R. Thornton Wilson (b. 1886 – d. 1977), New York; 1962, gift of R. Thornton Wilson to the MFA

Stove tile – Works- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Firstly hooray for these two depictions of powerful women because despite idealised faces these tiles were important works of art that were about political connections and aspirations and that is predominantly through clothing in these kinds of works.

Secondly this now lets me find my figure through an entirely new term to me, and let’s me imagine just how very vibrant this tile must have been. But first I need to prove she is on a tile, and hopefully identify who she is.

But I needed the translation and google translate did help: Ofenkachel I also tried the reverse to find the entire stoves in case any view revealed more uses of these particular kinds of tiles depicting clothing as revealing identity.

And wow. Also, oh no, another folder of new to me information including from archaeological finds, and unfinished tiles that really do reveal such an interest in essentially pretty clothing because aside from depictions of well known nobility, there are tiles that mimic the wedding dancer prints (a totally separate post for that.)

But I did eventually find her.

Datensatz 71298056
Aufsberg, Lala: Ofenkachel-Paar, 1961/1964
Beschreibung: Ofenkachel-Paar. Keramik, farbig glasiert. Nürnberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum

Deutsche Fotothek

So this must be the photo used after the sale/auction of the Igo Levi collection when the GNM purchased it. Unfortunately that’s as far as I can go as I can’t seem to search for either the provenance nor an Accession number. I may have better luck trying to identify her partner. Her clothing includes sleeves pinned back and her haube is distinctly shaped which reminds me of the Aldegrever wedding dancers. But I do think I’ll have better luck looking for his beard and short hair. They are almost certainly copied from printed works.

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