Alchemical Gold

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.