Attributed to the pottery of David II Pfau (16441702); Possibly assisted by Hans Heinrich III Pfau; Decoration after designs by Tobias Stimmer (15391584) and Christoph Murer (15581614)
Faience (tin–enameled earthenware); 10 ft. 4 in. x 82 in. (315 x 208.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1906 (06.968.2)
Winterthur, a town about sixteen miles from Zurich, and a center for fine pottery production, was especially noted for its Hafnermakers of fine stoves. In the long, cold winters of Eastern and Northern Europe, stoves were a practical household item; many included flat surfaces for sitting and sleeping. This elaborate example, made by members of the Pfau family of Hafner potters, is from a small manor house in Flims, in eastern Switzerland. The room in which it was built was called the Reiche Stübe ("rich room" or "best room"), used for the reception of important guests. The house was built for Johann Gaudenz von Capol, an important figure in Flims as well as a much-traveled and experienced diplomat for the Swiss Federation. The stove is decorated with stories from the Old Testament and has Christ and the twelve apostles on the narrower tiles. The openwork at the very top of the "tower" is a characteristic feature of Winterthur faience stoves and large dishes.