The Royal Statutes
The Royal Statutes, was the constitution of the Danish absolute monarchy 1665-1849, in a silver case with Frederik III’s monogram.
This is the King’s private copy; the one used during the anointings can be found in the National Archives. The statutes outline three obligations upon the absolute king: to worship God as instructed in the Augsburg Confession, to keep the kingdom from division and finally an obligation to not diminish his own power. So quite literally the king enjoyed uninhibited or absolute power and rights. He was for instance considered the legislative and executive power, enabling him to declare war and make truces, as well as being considered the highest clerical authority in the church, making him only responsible to God himself.
The absolute monarchy was a result of the failed wars against Sweden, and the statutes are dated to 14th of november, on the anniversary of the only victorious battle against the Swedes at Nyborg. The statutes were read during the anointment, but were not made public until the year 1709.
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.