Frederik III’s robe
Frederik 3rd spent a lot of money on his wardrobe. As king, he was required to dress to show his power and wealth, but he was clearly also interested in the details of what he wore. Even when he was old, he dressed in the newest French fashion, with its muted colors and exquisite trimmings. This olive green suit shows the fashion trends, with full, baggy trousers and a loose-fitting, knee-length jacket. One can see his fine white shirt, and around his neck he wears a neckcloth with lace, replacing the wide, starched lace collar which his father Christian 4th favored. And instead of his father’s patterned fabrics in clear, strong colors, Frederik 3rd wears a suit of a muted, single color. It is decorated with costly silk lace and hand-stitched buttons of the same color, so one can only see how expensive it is by close examination. Here, in the second half of the 1600’s, the modern man’s 3-piece suit was born, as well as the tradition of wearing a tie.
Corfitz Ulfeldt married Christian IV’s daughter Leonora Christina in 1636. He became the governor of Copenhagen Castle in 1637, ‘rigshofmester’ (the highest standing civil servant) in 1643, and quickly became the privy council’s leading figure. His relationship with Christian IV soured towards the end of the king’s reign. The situation only got worse once Frederik III had ascended the throne, and in 1651 Ulfeldt fled together with Leonora Christina. He entered Swedish service and was one of the chief negotiators on the Swedish side in 1658, when Scania, Halland, and Blekinge were ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde. Ulfeldt was arrested by the Swedes in 1659, accused of treason. He and Leonora Christina succeeded in fleeing back to Denmark, where they were held captive at Hammershus castle until the king released them on strict conditions. Ulfeldt soon went abroad again; he offered the Danish throne to the Elector of Brandenburg, and in 1663 he was accused of high treason. A doll of Corfitz was ‘executed’ and a monument of infamy erected in Copenhagen. He died on the run in a boat on the Rhine.
Bust of Frederik III
Wax bust of Frederik III. The cabinet of curiosities contained waxworks of several of the members of the royal family. The custom is also found in other royal courts. They were usually made after a life or death mask, but the king’s was modelled by Louis-Augustin le Clerc in Copenhagen in 1751, many years after the king’s death. The two sedan chair-like lockers were made by Dietrich Schäfer in 1751-52.