April 13th, 2024

A painting by Denmark’s artistic Queen Margrethe exceeds expectations at auction

By The Associated Press on March 6, 2024.

A view of a painting by Denmark's Queen Margrethe on display at Bruun Rasmussen Auctions, in Lyngby, Denmark, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024. The artwork was painted in 1988 and was originally a gift by Queen Margrethe to her then court martial, Hans Soelvhoej. The painting will feature in the Bruun Rasmussen's Live Auction in March. (Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – An abstract painting by Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, who surprised her country by abdicating earlier this year, has been sold at a Copenhagen auction at 160,000 kroner ($23,300) – exceeding the estimated price of 75,000-100,000 ($11,000-14,550)

The artistic works of the 83-year queen has long been publicly known, and several of her paintings have been exhibited at museums in Denmark and abroad.

The unnamed 1998 acrylic painting, whose starting price was 45,000 kroner ($6,550), was sold late Tuesday at Denmark’s main auction house to an unidentified buyer. The painting was originally a gift to a former aide who died in 1989, and was in the family’s possession.

The works by Margrethe who also has designed ballet costumes and sets, church vestments and dinnerware, and made book illustrations, are rarely put up for sale, said Niels Boe-Hauggaard of the Bruun Rasmussen Auction House.

“The queen’s recent abdication may also have given the painting an extra layer to its history,” he added in a statement.

On New Year’s Eve, Margrethe announced she would be stepping down, citing health issues. Her declaration stunned a nation that had expected her to live out her days on the throne, as is the tradition in the Danish monarchy.

On Jan 14. Margrethe became the first Danish monarch to voluntarily relinquish the throne in nearly 900 years. Her son ascended the throne as King Frederik X after she formally signed her abdication.

Margrethe had undergone major back surgery in February 2023 and didn’t return to work until April.

Denmark’s monarchy traces its origins to 10th-century Viking king Gorm the Old, making it the oldest in Europe and one of the oldest in the world. Today the royal family’s duties are largely ceremonial.

Tuesday’s auction was not the first time a painting by Margrethe has gone under the hammer. In 2021, the same auction house sold one of her works for 230,000 kroner ($33,500).

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