Nagler, Ferdinand Josef

Ferdinand Nagler


11 August 1898 Vienna – 2 July 1980 Edlitz, Lower Austria

From 1941 to 1976, Ferdinand Josef Nagler owned the art and auction house at Kärntnerstraße 4 in Vienna's 1st district expropriated from its Jewish owner Albert Kende after the annexation of Austria. The available records do not give an indication of Nagler's business activities before 1938. His name appears, however, in connection with the auction of the Figdor collection in June 1930, when Nagler acquired an eastern German fifteenth-century pewter jug for the record price of 3,900 schillings for the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. After the annexation of Austria, Nagler became provisional administrator of Albert Kende's art and auction house at Kärntnerstraße 4. The Vermögensverkehrsstelle (Property Transaction Office) removed him from this position in March 1939 but appointed him in September as liquidator. In October 1940, it approved its takeover by the businessman Josef Gruber, but in October 1941 Nagler was entered in the register of companies as the sole proprietor of the company, now called "Ferdinand Nagler, Handel mit Kunstgegenständen und Versteigerungen". The exact circumstances of the Aryanization are unknown, as the relevant Property Transaction Office file is missing. Nagler received a trade licence for the Kunst- und Auktionshaus in Kärntnerstraße in March and May 1942, entitling him to sell art objects on commission (oil paintings, watercolours, antiques, art objects, heliogravures, copper and steel engravings, etc.). Auctions took place there right up to the last phase of the Second World War. The Aryanized Kunst- und Auktionshaus in Kärntnerstraße played an important role during the Nazi era in the art trade throughout the entire German Reich, above all as a hub for expropriated art and cultural objects. Some of the collection of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer and numerous objects from the Ernst Egger silverware collection were auctioned there.

In 1946, Nagler reported Albert Kende, Kunstauktionshaus und Antiquitätenhandel in Kärntnerstraße, together with concession and lease entitlements, as expropriated assets. Elsewhere he claimed that he had acquired the company on the basis of a sales agreement of 17 July 1941 for 7,800 Reichsmarks and had reached an agreement after the war with Kende's sister Irma Zeller, his sole heir. This claim is based on a written statement by Zeller of 30 September 1946 waiving restitution of the expropriated assets. The company did not go into public administration. Nagler remained active as an art dealer and auctioneer in Vienna until the late 1960s at Kärntnerstraße 4/8–10 in the centre of Vienna. He then moved to his home address, first Kärntnerstraße 47/5 and then Operngasse 32/22, where he worked only as an art and antiques dealer and no longer as an auctioneer. He gave up his business permits in 1968 and 1973. The Ferdinand Nagler company was deleted from the register of companies in 1976.

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Publications about the person / institution

Gabriele Anderl, "Euer armer, unglücklicher, vollständig gebrochener alter Albert Kende". Die "Arisierung" des Kunstauktionshauses Kärnterstraße 4 in Wien, in: David. Jüdische Kulturzeitschrift 79 (12/2008), 76–80, URL: (3.12.2020).

N. N., 3,750,000 Schilling bei Figdor. Das erstaunliche Ergebnis des ersten Tages der Versteigerung. – 700,000 Schilling für den berühmten Tournais-Gobelin, in: Kleine Volks-Zeitung, 12.6.1930, 4, URL: (3.12.2020).

N. N., Vier Millionen Schilling für Kunstschätze. Der erste Tag der Figdor-Auktion, in: Neues Wiener Journal, 12.6.1930, 56, URL: (3.12.2020).

N. N., Handelsregister, in: Völkischer Beobachter, Wiener Ausgabe, 8.11.1941, 5, URL: (3.12.2020).

Fr., Kunstauktion, in: Völkischer Beobachter, Wiener Ausgabe, 16.6.1944, 4, URL: (3.12.2020).


Archiv der Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, Albert Kende; Albert Kende & Co.; Ferdinand Nagler.

GISA Servicestelle, Magistratsabteilung 63, Firmenblätter Albert Kende, Josef Gruber, Ferdinand Nagler.

OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, FLD, Zl. 15978, Albert Kende.

WStLA, M.Abt. 119, A41, VEAV I/J-1245, 1. Bez., Albert Kende, Ferdinand Nagler.
WStLA, Handelsgericht Wien, A 43, Registerakten, A 8, 43, Albert Kende.
WStLA, Handelsgericht Wien, A 43, Registerakten, HRA 7237, Ferdinand Nagler .