Flora Danica – A Royal Treasure

At Rosenborg there have been good reasons to look more closely at the collection’s beautiful Flora Danica service over the last few months. The collection’s conservators have been engaged in cleaning and readying parts of the service, which are soon to be sent to Hohenberg an der Eger in Germany in order to be part of a special exhibition at the Porzellanikon museum.

In Denmark the porcelain collection began in earnest with Christian IV, and today the Royal Family’s finest porcelain is exhibited in the Porcelain Cabinet at Rosenborg. When Frederik IV visited Charlottenburg in Berlin in 1709, he saw the porcelain cabinet there and wanted to create a similar one at Rosenborg. The king ‘only’ managed to create a glass cabinet, however, and Rosenborg’s current porcelain room wasn’t furnished until around 1860. It is in this cabinet that one today finds the beautiful Flora Danica service, which is neatly hung on the wall in the little room. The service was made in the years 1790-1802, and of the 1,802 parts which were made, 1,530 are still preserved. It is a happy accident that the service is in Denmark today, as it was made as a present from Christian VII to Empress Catherine the Great of Russia. The Empress died before the service was finished, and the Danish Royal Family therefore decided to keep it.

The beautiful service bears witness to the attempt to capture and record nature correctly. The service is therefore decorated with Danish flora reproduced with incredible accuracy. The decoration of the plate in the picture also shows that it wasn’t just the most beautiful flowers which were chosen as motifs: seaweed, types of grain, and autumn fungi also adorn the expensive service.

af Rosenborg Slot den 15.11.2016

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