User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.


Start collecting

A white life-sized vultures, perched on gnarled tree stump, its wings folded back and incised with feather markings. Three claws per foot.


Between 1730 and 1736, commissioned from the Meissen porcelain factory by Augustus II (b. 1670 – d. 1733), King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, Dresden, and his successor, Augustus III (b. 1696 – d. 1763), King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, Dresden, for the Japanese Palace in Dresden [see note 1]. November 28, 1977, anonymous sale ("property of a gentleman"), Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 197, to Edward M. Pflueger (b. 1905 - d. 1997) and Kiyi Powers Pflueger (b. 1915 - d. 2008), New York; 2001, bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 23, 2001) NOTES: [1] Augustus II (“the Strong”) began building the Japanese Palace in Dresden in 1925 and commissioned more than 35,000 porcelain works from the nearby Meissen porcelain factory to furnish his "porcelain palace." The original collection featured more than 500 large bird and animal figures; among these were 37 animal species and 32 bird species. Augustus II died in 1733 and his son Augustus III took over the project. The Japanese Palace became a museum and library after the death of Augustus III, and parts of the collection were sold and traded in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Credit Line

Kiyi and Edward M. Pflueger Collection. Bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and Gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger, Mary S. and Edward Jackson Holmes Fund, John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, Frederick L. Jack Fund

German, about 1731

Object Place

Meissen, Germany


Overall: 71.1 cm (28 in.) Weight (estimated): 45 lb. (20.41 kg)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hard-paste porcelain




Ceramics, Porcelain