Throne Chair of Denmark

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The Throne Chair today. Coronation Chair Denmark (King).jpg
The Throne Chair today.
The Throne Chair and King Frederick VI.
By Wilhelm Bendz (1830) Frederik vi in coronationrobes1830.jpg
The Throne Chair and King Frederick VI.
By Wilhelm Bendz (1830)

The Throne Chair of Denmark (Danish and Norwegian : Danmarks tronstol; also: salvingsstol, kroningsstol) is the physical representation of the Throne of the Kingdom of Denmark (since 1671) and of the Throne of the Kingdom of Norway (between 1671 and 1814).

Danish language North Germanic language spoken in Denmark

Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in Denmark and in the region of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany, where it has minority language status. Also, minor Danish-speaking communities are found in Norway, Sweden, Spain, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. Due to immigration and language shift in urban areas, around 15–20% of the population of Greenland speak Danish as their first language.

Norwegian language North Germanic language spoken in Norway

Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is the official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties; some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are not mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.

Monarchy of Denmark monarchy of the Kingdom of Denmark

The Monarchy of Denmark, colloquially known as the Danish Monarchy, is a constitutional institution and a historic office of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Kingdom includes Denmark, as well as the autonomous regions of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Kingdom of Denmark was already consolidated in the 8th century, whose rulers are consistently referred to in Frankish sources as "kings". Under the rule of King Gudfred in 804 the Kingdom may have included all the major provinces of medieval Denmark. The current unified Kingdom of Denmark was founded or re-united by the Viking kings Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth in the 10th century. Originally an elective monarchy, it became hereditary only in the 17th century during the reign of Frederick III. A decisive transition to a constitutional monarchy occurred in 1849 with the writing of the first Constitution. The current Royal House is a branch of the princely family of Glücksburg, originally from Schleswig-Holstein in modern-day Germany, the same royal house as the Norwegian and former Greek royal families.

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According to legend, the Throne Chair is made of the horn of unicorns. In reality, it is made from Norwegian narwhal tusks. It is guarded by three life-size silver lions, based on Biblical references, and was a symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Twin Kingdoms.

Unicorn horn legendary object in early European and Asian cultures

A unicorn horn, also known as an alicorn, is a legendary object whose reality was accepted in Europe and Asia from the earliest recorded times. This "horn" comes from the imaginary creature known as a unicorn, also known in the Hebrew Bible as a re'em or wild ox. Many healing powers and antidotal virtues were attributed to the alicorn, making it one of the most expensive and reputable remedies during the Renaissance, and justifying its use in the highest circles. Beliefs related to the alicorn influenced alchemy through spagyric medicine. The horn's purificational properties were eventually put to the test in, for example, the book of Ambroise Paré, Discourse on unicorn.

Narwhal Medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic

The narwhal, or narwhale, is a medium-sized toothed whale that possesses a large "tusk" from a protruding canine tooth. It lives year-round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. It is one of two living species of whale in the family Monodontidae, along with the beluga whale. The narwhal males are distinguished by a long, straight, helical tusk, which is an elongated upper left canine. The narwhal was one of many species described by Carl Linnaeus in his publication Systema Naturae in 1758.

Tusk elongated, continuously growing front teeth

Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth, usually but not always in pairs, that protrude well beyond the mouth of certain mammal species. They are most commonly canine teeth, as with warthogs, pigs, and walruses, or, in the case of elephants, elongated incisors. In most tusked species both the males and the females have tusks although the males' are larger. Tusks are generally curved, though the narwhal's sole tusk is straight and has a helical structure. Continuous growth is enabled by formative tissues in the apical openings of the roots of the teeth. In earlier times elephant tusks weighing over 90 kg (200 lb) were not uncommon, though it is rare today to see any over 45 kg (100 lb).

The Throne Chair is located in the Castle of Rosenborg in Copenhagen.

Rosenborg Castle palace in Copenhagen

Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects. It was built in the Dutch Renaissance style, typical of Danish buildings during this period, and has been expanded several times, finally evolving into its present condition by the year 1624. Architects Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger are associated with the structural planning of the castle.

Copenhagen Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and it is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

History

The Throne Chair and the silver lions at the 1841 coronation of King Christian VIII, by Joseph-Desire Court (1841) Christian VIII og Caroline Amalie i salvingsdragt.jpg
The Throne Chair and the silver lions at the 1841 coronation of King Christian VIII, by Joseph-Désiré Court (1841)

Throne Chair

Following the 1660 introduction of absolute monarchy in Denmark and Norway, King Frederick III (r. 16481670) ordered a throne chair to be created. The Throne Chair was made between 1662 and 1671 by Bendix Grodtschilling. [1] During the reign of King Christian V (r. 16701699), gilt figures were added to the chair.

Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.

Denmark Constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country. Denmark proper, which is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. The southernmost of the Scandinavian nations, Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also includes two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

Both the Throne Chair and the silver lions were inspired by the Biblical Throne of King Solomon, which was guarded by twelve lions, as described in I Kings 10:

Bible Collection of religious texts in Judaism and Christianity

The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.

Throne of Solomon Throne of King Solomon

The Throne of Solomon is the throne of King Solomon in the Hebrew Bible, and is a motif in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Solomon king of Israel and the son of David

Solomon, also called Jedidiah, was, according to the Hebrew Bible, Old Testament, Quran, and Hadiths, a fabulously wealthy and wise king of Israel who succeeded his father, King David. The conventional dates of Solomon's reign are circa 970 to 931 BCE, normally given in alignment with the dates of David's reign. He is described as the third and final king of the United Monarchy, which would break apart into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah shortly after his death. Following the split, his patrilineal descendants ruled over Judah alone.

18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the finest gold. 19 There were six steps to the throne, and the top of the throne was round behind; and there were arms on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. 20 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps; there was not the like made in any kingdom.

The Throne Chair was used at coronations between 1671 and 1840. [1] When absolute monarchy was replaced by constitutional monarchy in 1849, kings were no longer crowned or anointed, whereupon the Throne Chair lost its practical function.

A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Monaco, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Japan, where the monarch retains no formal authorities.

Coronation ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or his or her consort with regal power

A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term generally also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, and acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have often included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is often called; the anointing ritual's religious significance follows examples found in the Bible. The monarch's consort may also be crowned, either simultaneously with the monarch or as a separate event.

Anointing ritual act of putting aromatic oil on a person

Anointing is the ritual act of pouring aromatic oil over a person's head or entire body. By extension, the term is also applied to related acts of sprinkling, dousing, or smearing a person or object with any perfumed oil, milk, butter, or other fat. Scented oils are used as perfumes and sharing them is an act of hospitality. Their use to introduce a divine influence or presence is recorded from the earliest times; anointing was thus used as a form of medicine, thought to rid persons and things of dangerous spirits and demons which were believed to cause disease.

Even though Norway was formally an independent realm with its own throne, Denmark's Throne Chair was de facto also Norway's until 1814.

Lions

The Throne Chair is guarded by three lions of silver. They are the same size as natural lions, and each weighs 130 kilos. Their eyes, manes, and rumps are covered with pure gold. They were made between 1665 and 1670 by Ferdinand Kübich. [2]

On 20 November 1905, when delegates of the Norwegian parliament entered the Christian VII Palace in Copenhagen in order to offer the throne of Norway to Prince Carl, they were metand stoppedby the lions. This moment was immortalized by photographer Peter Elfelt. Based on Elfelt's photograph, painter Paul Fischer made a famous painting. Several versions of this painting have existed, and one is included in the art collections in the Castle of Oslo. [3]

The silver lions are still used outside Rosenborg, mainly when protecting the castrum doloris of kings. [2]

See also

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