Centuries-old royal desk uncovered in Sweden
David Landes · 15 May 2009, 12:03
Published: 15 May 2009 12:03 GMT+02:00
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The desk, which is dated from 1683, is the second known item to have survived the fire which destroyed the original Tre Kronor Royal Palace in Stockholm in 1697.
“There are only two items which were salvaged from the fire, Queen Kristina’s silver throne, and Hedvig Eleonora’s desk,” said Knut Knutson from the Uppsala Auktionskammare auction house, to Sveriges Television (SVT).
Crafted from walnut, jacaranda, ebony, stained hardwood, and cedar, the desk was in the possession of a family from Skåne in southern Sweden.
The desk was made by Hindrich von Hachten and bears the symbol of Hedvig Eleonora, “HERS” (Hedvig Eleonora Regina Sueciae) as well as a date stamp “1683” and “Stockholm”.
“When I saw the stamps on the back side, it was the absolutely biggest moment of my life,” said Knutson, who revealed the desk’s historic significance.
Born in 1636 to Duke Fredrik III av Holstein-Gottorp, Hedvig Eleonora eventually married King Karl X Gustav, who ruled Sweden from 1654 until his death in 1660.
While the throne then passed on to the couple’s son, Karl XI, Hedvig Eleonora remained the real power-broker in the royal court until her death in 1715.
Knutson calls the discovery “a sensation” for Sweden and “invaluable”.
The desk is set to be auctioned off on June 3rd with bidding expected to start in the range of 300,000 to 400,000 kronor ($38,000 to $50,000).