Table of Gifts Gifts from the people to King Haakon and Queen Maud 1905–06
The exhibition in Bergen will present exquisite crafts and paintings that were bestowed upon the young king and queen following the dissolution of Norway’s union with Sweden.
Queen Maud’s birthday was the day after the royal family arrived in Norway in 1905. Women in cities and towns all over Norway used the occasion to raise money for gifts with which to welcome the queen. The gift from “women in Kristiania and surrounding areas” was particularly splendid: a 103-kilo table garniture in silver. The centrepiece was designed by Torolf Prytz and Lars Utne and wrought by the goldsmith J. Tostrup. Here we see it decorating the Banqueting Hall at the Royal Palace on the occasion of the annual ceremonial dinner for the Storting (the Norwegian parliament), autumn 2011. Photo: Jan Haug. The Royal Court.
Vilhelm Arnesen, Den norske kongefamiliens avreise fra København 23. november 1905 (The Norwegian royal family’s departure from Copenhagen, November 23, 1905), 1905–06. The painting was one of the coronation gifts from the Danish people to the king and queen in 1906. The gift also included 150 service plates in silver and four paintings featuring subjects from Danish nature and history. Photo: Kjartan Hauglid. The Royal Court.
Bergen, May 24–September 2, 2012
The West Norway Museum of Decorative Art /Art Museums of Bergen
Our recently elected king and queen were met with great enthusiasm, and gifts were collected both to the queen’s birthday in 1905 and to the coronation in 1906. Gifts were also collected in England, Scotland, and Denmark.
The Royal Palace was as good as bare and unfurnished following the dissolution of Norway’s union with Sweden, and the gifts were intended to be both symbolic and practical. The exhibition will display magnificent tureens, candelabra, silver cruets, and paintings that were donated to the king and queen.