In 1557, Queen Dorothea, wife of Denmark’s King Christian III, donated a large and sumptuous ornament to the city of Copenhagen, making it available for the daughters of the mayors and councillors to use when they–the only people eligible to apply–received permission to hold their wedding receptions in the main chamber of the city hall. By presenting such a fine gift to the city, the queen was signaling a clear link to the leading civic administrators. Modern studies have shown that not all the various elements of the ornament were contemporaneous. In the course of its long life, the piece had undergone alterations, and it was not until 1943 that historical records enabled the ornament to be returned to its original composition.
Article from the catalog for the exhibition “The Splendour of Power,” at Museet på Koldinghus, Denmark, 2018.
Bridal ornament owned by Copenhagen Museum.
Photo by Iben Kaufmann.