A set of four German silver-gilt tazze, Johann Heinrich Menzel, Augsburg, circa 1717
- marked on salvers and feet with maker's mark and city mark
- Silver, gilt
- length 10 7/8 in.
- 27.5 cm
Countess Laszlo Szechenyi (née Vanderbilt)
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
The cardinal, nephew of Pope Alexander VII (Chigi), was born to a Siennese noble family, his brother was archbishop of Siena while another brother was Grand Master of the Order of Malta. After studying at the University of Siena, he was ordained in 1690 and served in various positions in the following decade including Governor of Ancona and Nuncio extraordinary to welcome the Queen of Poland.
Zondadari was elected titular archbishop of Damascus in 1701, then Nuncio to Philip V of Spain around the War of Spanish Succession; he served at that court until he moved to Avignon after a rift between the King and the Pope. He was created cardinal priest in 1712 and Camerlingo of the Sacred College of Cardinals 1718-1719, which may have been an occasion for the presentation of these pieces by a German patron. He participated in the Conclaves of 1721, 1724, and 1730, when Philip V vetoed Zondadari’s election to the pontificate. In 1726, he commissioned the architect Antonio Valeri to construct the Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari in Siena, which still exists on the Piazza del Campo. Zondadari died in 1737 and was buried in S. Giorgio, Siena, which he had also remodeled.
These salvers are probably en suite with a ewer and basin by Menzel, 1716-17, with matching border and engraved with a cardinal's arms, that was on the art market and published by Helmut Seling in Die Kunst der Augsburger Goldschmiede 1529-1868, vol. II, pl. 848, and vol. III, p. 329. A pyx in the Wurttemberg collections demonstrates Menzel's connections with the Catholic rulers of the time, while a miniature toilet service in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum shows his mastery of those forms (see Silber und Gold: Augsburger Goldschmiedekunst für die Höfe Europas, 1994, no. 125).
Countess Széchenyi (1886-1965)
Countess Széchenyi was born Gladys Moore Vanderbilt, the youngest child of Alice Claypoole Gwynne and Cornelius Vanderbilt II, president and chairman of the New York Central Railroad. Gladys grew up in the family home on Fifth Avenue in New York City and their summer home, The Breakers, in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1908, she married Hungarian Count László Széchenyi (1879-1938) and lived much of her early married life in Hungary. Count László Széchenyi served as Hungary’s ambassador to the United States from 1922 to 1933. He was transferred to the same post at the Court of Saint James in England in 1933.