A set of four German silver-gilt tazze, Johann Heinrich Menzel, Augsburg, circa 1717. Estimation 80,000 — 100,000 USD. Lot. Vendu 81,250 USD. Photo Sotheby’s
each shaped oval on screw-on conforming foot, the rim embossed and chased with strapwork enclosing lambrequins and flowerheads on matted grounds, the surface with similarly chased border, the center pricked with contemporary arms under cardinal’s hat between pendant tassels, marked on salvers and feet with maker’s mark and city mark; length 10 7/8 in., 27.5 cm, 75 oz, 2332.5 g
PROVENANCE:Cardinal Antonio Felice Zondadari
Countess Laszlo Szechenyi (née Vanderbilt)
Cardinal Antonio Felice Zondadari (1665-1737)
Bianchi Pietro known as Creatura, The Meeting of Cardinal Zondadari and King Philip V, early 18th Century. National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome. Mondadori Portfolio / Getty Images
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)
John Singer Sargent, Gladys Vanderbilt, 1906, Private Collection.
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.
Sotheby’s. Masterworks. New York | 11 déc. 2014, 10:00 AM