The homage of 1660
Paying homage to the Hereditary King in front of the Castle of Copenhagen, 18th October, 1660. Painted by Wolfgang Heimbach, 1666. After having installed absolutism and hereby also succesive law, replacing the existing system of elective law, where the heir to the throne in theory had to be choosen by the State Counsil, Frederik III held this homage, where people of high and low had to swear faithful allegiance without recieving much in return.
The deaf-mute painter, Wolfgang Heimbach, did not just sign the painting, but he also had a small depiction of himself waving his hat included in the bottom left corner. It took him more than six years to finish.
Notice the sunbeam coming from the top right corner that showers Frederik III and his wife in light, hereby symbolizing that his power was not only handed over by the people, and more importantly the aristocracy, but was God given.
The painting produces an excellent view of the city around the time of Frederik III after the completion of some of the buildings erected by Christian IV, such as the stock exchange with the twisting tower.
‘Throwing Coins’ from the Coronation of Frederik III in 1648
At the coronation on 23 November 1648 in Copenhagen, the king rode in a procession from the Church of Our Lady to Copenhagen Castle. He may have been seated in the exhibited saddle, which was, however, made for his elder brother’s wedding in 1634. The magnificent saddle can be seen in the same display case as the coins. Behind the king rode people who threw these specially minted ‘largesse’ coins to the rabble. At the same time the city’s fountains flowed with wine, and portions of roast ox were handed out — all ways in which the king displayed his wealth and his ability to provide for his people. The tradition of throwing coins to the rabble isn’t particularly Danish; it is known across Europe and stems from antiquity. There is no explanation for why the coins are square rather than round. For the anointing of Christian V in 1670 they were even triangular!