Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rosenborg Castle - The Crown and the Crown Jewels

Christian 5.s Crown of the Absolute Monarch

The best known of the Danish crowns is Christian 5.s crown, which was made for Denmark's second absolute monarch Christian 5. in 1671. It was used by all absolute monarchs of Denmark from Christan 5. till Christian 8. The crown is also depicted in the top of the Danish royal coat of arms and the Danish national emblem of arms.

The goldsmith behind the more than two kilo heavy crown (total weight 2080gr.)  was the German goldsmith Paul Kurtz, who worked in Copenhagen. The crown is made in gold, decorated with flat square taffelsten (table-cut stones) and enamel decorations. The round bow of the crown  forms a closure, which was inspired by the crown of the absolute monarch of France, Louis 14., and it symbolizes the monarch's absolute power. The bows of the crown meet at the top in a globe or rigsæble (orb), which is a sign of power and dignity of the monarch.(insignia).  Above the globe is a little cross, it shows in the symbolic language of that period that the church is the only power above the royal power. 

The crown is decorated with several precious stones, like winding rows of diamonds, saphires and garnets. At the top of the cross is a socalled korund: a saphire with a stripe of ruby, and upon the front part of the crown is a square block-stone with Christian 5.s monogram in gold thread. The precious stones in the crown are supposedly re-used from earlier jewelry, like the saphire on the front of the crown, which is  traced back to Frederik 1. It was probably a gift to his father Christian 1. from the Duke of Milan in 1474. 

Christian 5.'s crown was latest used at Christian 8.'s anointment in 1840. The crown became redundant for ceremonial use, since the constitutional monarchy was introduced in Denmark in 1849, the absolute monarchy was abolished and the regent was no longer crowned or anointed. Christian 5.'s crown is still used at the monarch's death, where it is placed upon the coffin in the socalled castrum doloris. Last time the crown was used was at Frederik 9.'s death in 1972. 

The Queen's Crown. 
The queens crown was made for Christian 6.'s queen, Sophie Magdalene, by court jeweller Frederik Fabritius in 1731. It was used until 1840. The taffelsten (table-cut stones) origin supposedly from Sophie Amalie's crown from 1648. The new crown was made for Sophie Magdalene, because she denied to wear a crown, which had been worn by the hated Anna Sophie Reventlow, the second wife of Frederik 4.

Christian 4.s Crown

Christian 4.'s crown was made by goldsmith Dirich Dyring in Odense 1595-96. It is gold with enamel, taffelsten (table-cut stones) and pearls, total weight 2895 gr. The figures in the big points of the crown show the virtues of the good regent. In front, above the king's forehead and repeated above the king's ear, is a pelican which pecks its own chest to feed its chicks, originally a symbol of the death of Christ, but here it is the symbol of the king's obligation to protect his people with his own blood. Above the king's right hand is Fortitudo, the horsewoman upon a lion, a symbol of the king as a warlord, and above the left hand Justitia, the woman with sword and scale, a symbol of the king as the supreme judge; above the king's neck Caritas, the mother with a suckling child, a symbol of the king as the head of the church, his love for God and for his subjects.
Inside the points of the crown are the coat of arms of the king's kingdoms and countries; the crown is open, although the fashion prescribed a closed crown at that time. The Nordic Union-kings had used open crowns, and by following his forefathers example Christian 4. marked that he was the heir of a united North. The crown was used for the last time by Frederik 3. in 1648. The coat of arms were re-newed, and a bow was put on, which closed the crown. Frederik 3. even had to redeem the crown from a banker in Hamburg, where Christian 4. had pawned it in his late years. Christian 5. let the bow and closure remove and melt and re-used the gold and diamonds for the closed crown of the absolute monarch

The Crown Jewels.
The crown jewels history goes back to Christian 6.'s queen Sophie Magdalene. She decided in her will from 1746 that her jewels should not be inherited by one person, but always be available to the queen of the country. Her reasoning was that "there were so few jewels and no crown jewels at all in this royal house". Sophie Magdalene's crown jewels were among others dimond studded hairpins, earrings and pearl necklaces, but most of her original jewelry was remade by the following queens according to changing fashion. Today the crown jewels are primarily four big jewelry sets or garnitures : a brilliant garniture, an emerald garniture, a pearl-ruby garniture and a rose stone garniture. All four garnitures consists of necklaces, earrings and broches, and one has a tiara. (the emerald). The jewelry can be disassembled and be combined in various ways.

The four Garnitures.


 The Emerald garniture  (with tiara)

Set of emeralds and brilliants with diadem, necklace, brooch and earrings. Made in 1840 by C.M. Weisshaupt. The emeralds were originally a gift from Chr. VI to Sophie Magdalene in 1723.

The four garnitures have the form which Christian 8.'s queen Caroline Amalie gave them in 1840. With a re-use of Sophie Magdalene's original jewels, supplemented with extra precious stones, she had made four garnitures according to the fashion. Besides the four big garnitures the crown jewels consist of additions to the collection by later queens, fx Frederik 8.'s queen Lovisa's pearl "Bayadere", a very long pearl necklace with pearl tassels, and her three pearl bracelets with brilliant- and emerald-locks.

 The Brilliant garniture

Set of brilliants consisting of necklace with seven pendants, brooch in form of a floral bouquet, and earrings. Made in 1840 by C.M. Weisshaupt. The jewelry dates back to Queens Sophie Magdalene, Caroline Mathilde and Juliane Marie.

The crown jewels belong to the Danish State, but are available to the Danish queen, who usually wear them when it's galla time at the New-Year's Banquet or in connection to State Visits or other big events in the royal house. It is customary that the crown jewels stay in Denmark, which means that the queen cannot wear them on visits abroad. When the crown jewels are not in use, they are kept in the Skatkammeret (Treasury) in the cellar at Rosenborg slot and in "Guldburet" (the Golden Cage ) at the Amalienborg Museum. The Danish crown jewels are the only in the world, which are both on exhibition as museum pieces and used by the queen of the country.
The queen and the other women in the royal family have also a collection of private jewels for their own disposal, among these a ruby garniture from the Napoleonic period, which the crownprincess has used several times. The private jewels are not exhibited, but can be seen when they are used at big galla-events in Denmark and visits abroad. 

The Pearl-Ruby garniture

Set of pearls, rubies and diamonds with necklace, brooch and earrings. Made in 1840 by C.M. Weisshaupt. The pearl necklace belonged to Chr. V's consort Charlotte Amalie.

Rosenborg Slot

photo september 2008: grethe bachmann, Rosenborg slot, København.


Gerry Snape said...

Absolutely stunning Grethe!

Thyra said...

Gerry - wouldn't you love to wear the tiara? I love those emeralds!! But it wouldn't look so good together with jeans and t-shirt! ´)

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