A Region in Europe
LIST OF CULTURAL PROPERTY
confiscated from Denmark
A summary of some of the more important items classified as "war booty" -
cultural property confiscated by the Swedish military in Denmark during the
two wars 1657- 1658 and 1658-1660. The items are presently stored in
palaces, mansions and museums in and around Stockholm.
Anders Bille's archive from Fredriksodde and a valuable weapons collection.
Today a part of the latter is stored at Skokloster.
Cultural property confiscated from Ebbe Rosenkrantz of Odense in the form of
weapons, chests, books , hand writings, items of gold and silver, etc., all
marked with the seal of Rosenkrantz is stored in part at Skokloster.
In connection with the confiscation from the Castle of Nyborg a numerous and
irreplaceable booty belonging to Otto Krag, consisting of works of art,
books, gold and silver, etc., was taken. Part of which is now found at
In connection with the continued looting at Otto Krag's estate of Egeskov,
which was executed by Corfitz Ulfeld, the whole of Krag's irreplaceable
library was confiscated. Of the content of the library one should in
particular note the Laugbog of Næstved, four Icelandic Hand Writings, the
Saga of Olaf den Helige, etc. Parts of Krag's original library in now stored
in different locations in Sweden of which the more important parts are
placed in Kungliga Biblioteket in Stockholm, Botaniska Muséet in Uppsala and
in the University Library in Lund.
At Wrangel's first confiscation at Kronborg three large wall paintings with
historic motifs painted by Crispin de Pas were, among other things, taken.
They are now, according to available information, at Skokloster
During the occupation of Sjælland during the second war the King Fredrik
II's table canopy and the associated suite of tapestries from Kronborg. Also
from Kronborg an alabaster relief showing a picture of King Fredrik II was
taken. It is nowadays at the Palace of Gripholm.
At the same occasion two large wall paintings representing King Christian II
and Erik Ejegod were taken. They are now at the Castle of Vittskövle.
Then large group of statues originally placed around the castle's well at
Kronborg were dismantled and removed. Three "goddesses" belonging to the set
have been located at the Palace of Drottningholm.
The Executioner's Sword of Helsingör is now located at Skokloster. As a
matter of curiosity it should be mentioned that the City of Helsingör,
during an exhibition, was allowed to have the sword on loan on the condition
that it had to be returned to Skokloster.
At a visit to the Cathedral of Roskilde, among other items, the bridal dress
of Queen Margarehte was taken. It is now stored in the Cathedral of Uppsala.
From the Castle of Fredriksborg the Fountain of Neptune with its bronze
figurines, created by Adrian de Vries were removed. The fountain well was
destroyed and the figurines can now be found in the palace park of
From the palace chapel at Fredriksborg was, among other things, a chalice
cup made of pure gold and decorated by diamonds confiscated. It is even more
remarkable that the church organ also was taken. Skokloster may now be the
new home for these items.
From the royal chapel at Fredriksborg incredibly valuable works of art and
books were taken. It had the value at that time of no less that 47,000
Rix-dollars. In addition Danish royal portraits etc. was taken and part of
this goods are now stored in the palace of Gripsholm.
On the walls in the state rooms of Drottningholm hangs almost all of the
Danish history in the form of portraits of Danish kings, queens. Most of the
paintings derive from the royal palaces on Sjælland, in particular from
In connection with the confiscation of Wrangel at the palace of Frediksborg
five painted portraits of Dutch admirals, painted by Karel van Mander, were
taken. Nowadays at Skokloster.
In Skokloster is also stored one hunting sword as a result of Wrangel's
excursion to Fredriksborg. In the armours at Skokloster of Wrangel and
Brahe-Bielkeaska is presently stored the better part of what remains of
ceremonial weapons of Danish decent, in number even larger than what today
remains in Denmark.
Other memorials in the form of "war booty" from Wrangel's excursions to
different locations in Denmark is represented by large quantities of ancient
Danish literature such as irreplaceable hand writings like Johannes Meursii
- Historica Danica 1523-50. The most part of these can be traced back to
Rudbjerggaard and other places.
This literary collection interest also resulted in hundreds of medieval hand
writings being brought to Sweden and we would like to mention here only a
few. The two first transcripts of the history of Denmark, the first
translation of Mandevilles Travels written in the convent of the Franciscans
in Næstved 1459, the oldest Danish text of the late medieval history of
Grisedis, the old Danish verse chronicle from 1490, etc. Most of these
extremely valuable literary confiscation are nowadays stored in the library
of Skokloster, Kungliga Biblioteket in Stockholm and the diocese library of
At the confiscation at Axel Arenfeld's Basnæs among other things six
valuable pieces of tapestry manufactured in Gouda were taken and is now
hanging in Skokolster.
With royal permission Magnus Gabriel de la Gardia seized Jörgen Reddts large
library. It contained old Danish pieces of literature such as Huitfelds
Chronicle, Gamble Danske Laugbog, Odense Rætte Ordinanz, etc. Part of Reddtz
library can now be found in Kungliga Bilioteket in Stockholm and in the
University Library of Uppsala.
The de la Gardie mentioned above also seized Gunde Rosenkrantz' large and
valuable library at Vindinge containing irreplaceable book collections
containing incunabula such as Bartholomæus Platina, Viæ Ponificum, Petrus de
Palude, Semones Thesauri, Novi de Sanctus, etc. all from the 15th century.
At least some of the Rosenkrantz library can now be found at the Kungliga
Biblioteket in Stockholm.
The Danish Chancellor Jörgen Seefeldt was seized on several occasions. His
library contained before the war not less than 26,000 books of which the
major part came to end up in the hands of Corfits Ulfeldt under the
protection of his royal brother-in-law. It would be to go too far to account
for this book collection containing incunabula, hand writings, etc. These
are now dispersed throughout many Swedish libraries around Stockholm such as
Kungliga Biblioteket, the University Library in Uppsala etc. Lets mention a
few examples such as Legal Hand Writings, The Bishop of Roskilde's Register
with the oldest citizen roll from Copenhagen, Odensebogen written in the
Convent of St. Knud in Odense 1470. The library was the most extensive and
valuable in Denmark. The Swede Peter Julius Coyet was given a royal
"donation" consisting of a smaller portion of Ulfeldt's loot after the
latter had deserted Sweden. This part alone consisted of no less than
between 4000 to 5000 books.
Again let us finally recall the "book collector" Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie
who was responsible for yet another confiscation of a book collection namely
the large library belonging to Holger Rosenkrantz. This collection contained
particularly expensive treasures in the form of irreplaceable Danish
national treasures which during the wars were stored at the Palace of
Rosenberg. Let us as examples mention the historian Anders Sörensen Vedel's
historic collections, Tycho Brahe's scientific works, Adam of Bremen's
"Historia Ecclesiastica", hand writings such as Riddarromaner in
quarter-size format from about the year 1500, transcript from Henrik
Harpestreng's Medical Book, Denmark's oldest Annal Collection, the famous
Ryd-Aabog and many others. Parts of these valuable collections are now
stored in different places in Sweden, such as Kungliga Biblioteket,
Skokloster, the University Library in Uppsala, etc.
Sources for the above short summary:
Knud Fabricius, "Skaanes overgang fra
Danmark till Sverige" band I-IV
O Walde, "Storhetstidens litterära krigsbyten"
Lena Rangström, "Krigsbyten på Skokloster, Skoklosterstudier 13"
Uno Röndahl, "Skåneland utan förskoning", Karlshamn 1981