Ring of enamelled gold with diamonds. The ring, with a phallus and a woman’s hand, was possibly Frederik III’s comment on Queen Sophie Amalie’s affair with a valet, when it was discovered in 1664.
The 400-year-old Renaissance castle was built by Christian IV whose colourful personality left a strong mark on Danish history. Christian IV loved being in residence at Rosenborg and it quickly became his favourite castle and venue for many important events. Today visitors can travel back in time and through the possessions of Christian IV and his heirs get a sense of both everyday life and the festive aspects of royal life through 400 years. The rooms and halls testify to pomp and pageantry, but also to peculiarities, secrets, and a view of the world which was in some ways like ours, and in others very different. The organisation behind the palace is the Royal Danish Collections, which collects, researches, preserves, and disseminates. We want our visitors to explore living history when they encounter the palace. It is our ambition that our visitors should be moved by our material, through learning, wonderment, fascination and empathy. At the same time, we aim not to stand still in our dissemination of history – Rosenborg is an expression of its time, but the experience of Rosenborg moves with the times. We are constantly developing new material about the palace, and often focus on various themes, so that there is always a good reason for (re)visiting Rosenborg.
The round container with an enamel rosette on the lid contains an oval surface of yellow metal. The metal is specified as alchemical gold and is said to have been produced by Frederik III with the help of the Italian Giuseppe Borri. Alchemy presumed that all substances stemmed from earth, water, air and fire, and were simply combined in different ways. Until the 1700s it was therefore thought that other metals could be changed into gold. Members of society’s elite have throughout history attempted the process, and this object bears witness that the king was no exception.