This exceptional silver-gilt brazier was crafted by Gottlieb Menzel (1676 -1757) of Augsburg, Germany. Characteristics of superior craftsmanship abound–from the gadrooned rim and scrolling feet, to the delicate piercing, elegant engraving and beautifully turned wooden handle. Braziers were used to keep bowls or plates of food warm by resting them on top of the brazier, which held burning coals. Augsburg silver is considered to be the absolute highest quality silver of the period, making this an exceptionally rare find.
This brazier bears the mark of Gottlieb Menzel (1676 -1757) and stamp for the city of Augsburg, Germany on the underside.
5 3/4” wide x 10 5/8” length x 3 7/8” deep
From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, the goldsmiths of Augsburg dominated their field, both within Germany and throughout central Europe. Some of the best goldsmiths from throughout Europe came to Augsburg because the city offered religious freedom to its citizens. Augsburg was also prominent on the political stage in the 16th century, and was host to numerous princes and their retainers, who would often acquire pieces by silversmiths like Gottlieb Menzel. A master smith since 1709, Menzel was entrusted with numerous court orders. Among other things, he produced parts of the monumental gilt table service for 22 for Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, circa 1717-18, which is today in the Green Vault in Dresden. It is also believed he created at least one piece for Queen Louise of Denmark. Today, Menzel’s work is currently housed in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as in museums in Copenhagen, London, Bern, St. Petersburg, in the silver chambers at Darmstadt, Dresden, Munich, Stuttgart and Vienna.
Reference: Silver and Gold: Courtly Splendour from Augsburg, 1995, Lorenz Seelig