Frederik VII, 1861
Portrait of Frederik VII. Painting by I. Vilhelm Gertner, 1861. Only two years after the completion of this painting Frederik VII, who is regarded as one of the most treasured kings in danish history, died. Much of his popularity can be traced back to his signing of the first constitution, obviously a moment of some significance for the modern observer. Not only is he considered a great statesman through the ages, but in his day he was also thought of foremostly as a man of the people, his motto being “The love of the people – My strength!”.
Frederik VII's megaphone
Frederik VII applied this megaphone, made of nickel silver, on board the steam schooner “Falken” (The Falcon). The ship was the monarchs private property, but was equipped and maintained by the Royal Danish Navy. The megaphone was used to address the ships crew, 16 men in total. The 19th century was stamped by industrial enterprise and nickel silver was no exception to this. The alloying of copper, nickel and zinc is an artifical material from industrial production. It resembles silver in style and characteristics but contains no elemental silver. As Frederik VII’s helmet of aluminium, displayed in the same room, the megaphone illustrates the king’s interest in modern inventions and the technological developement.