With artistic talent and aristocratic origin

A son of a former employee at the Csáky mansion house in Spišský Hrhov sold a sketchbook wrapped in a leather cover and designated with the exlibris of the Csáky mansion house library to the Antique bookshop in Levoča. He had found these objects when sorting out the heritage and had almost discarded them as useless things his mother had been preserving. It is quite likely that it was the drawings in the sketchbook that made him go and find out their price so that he could sell it in an antique shop. The owner of the shop knew that the SNM-Spiš Museum had been gathering objects related to the Spiš family of the Csákys for a long time and decided to offer it to them for acquisition.
The history of the Csáky de Körösszégh et Adorján family goes back to the 14th century and their agnomen, which they had obtained around the year 1396, is derived from the village Cheresig a Adrián in the Bihár County. The Csákys had settled in Spiš in 1638 when, folowing the extinction of the Thurzo family, Stephen Csáky (1603 – 1662) received from the Royal Chamber the Spiš Castle and its feud and, together with this, also the position of a hereditary Spiš governor. In 1702 the property had been divided and thus the basic family branches came to being, i.e., those of Hodkovce, Bijacovce, Kluknava and Iliašovce. The Kluknava and the Iliašovce branches had merged in the early 19th century and by the end of the 19th century their residence had been moved to Spišský Hrhov. In 1885 Count Vidor Csáky purchased Gustáv Görgey’s estate in Spišská Nová Ves, together with the mansion in Spišský Hrhov. Although he had the original Görgey mansion repaired in 1886 – 1888, the result did not satisfy his aspirations. Therefore, in 1893 – 1895 he had a new mansion built according to the project of the Viennese architect Heinrich Adam (1939 – 1905). The neo-baroque mansion was a unique example of the architecture and interior design of this neo-style in Slovakia. It was a successful synthesis of a baroque come back on the one hand and modern comfort on the other one. The Csáky family had lived there until 19 January 1945 when, as many other aristocratic families, they had to leave their residence due to the approaching front, however, hoping that they would be able to return after the war. The owner of the day, JUDr. Gustáv Csáky (1883 – 1964), son of Vidor and Anna, had indeed made an effort to come back in 1946 but the District Office in Levoča would not give its consent. The Levoča Museum had received around 318 historical objects, such as portraits, personal and every day use objects which are still an important part of its collections. Among them are two representational portraits of the married couple – Vidor and Anna Csáky – painted by the Viennese painter Hedwig Friedländer.

The museum purchased also the leather cover with the exlibris of the mansion library in Spišský Hrhov. There were several newspaper cuttings in it, among them also two older drawings – caricatures – which were made in 1835, on various occasions, by Count Rudolf Csáky (1811 – 1887), a member of the Hodkovce family branch. He was a son of Count Emmanuel Csáky (1763 – 1825) and Anna, neé Szirmay (1771 – 1838) who take the merit for the early classicist reconstruction of the mansion in Hodkovce. Rudolf, a landowner, was also a patron, as well as a collector, of art. He administered the family property which included also one of the first buildings in Starý Smokovec. He lived mainly in Košice but since 1881 he used to spend more time in Levoča. He was a member of the Hungarian parliament (House of Lords). He was also regularly supporting the Hungarian theatre in Košice and was a member of its steering committee. In addition to drawing, among his hobbies were German poetry and collection of antiques.

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