Queen Lovisa Ulrika’s memorial cup

Posted in museums by Editor on June 12, 2012

Press release from Sweden’s National Museum:

Pehr Zethelius, Queen Lovisa Ulrika’s Memorial Cup, silver, ca. 1782. Photo: Hans Thorwid/Nationalmuseum.

Queen Lovisa Ulrika’s memorial cup was donated to the museum at the annual meeting of the Friends of Nationalmuseum. This unique object was made by silversmith Pehr Zethelius and presented as a memento to Johan Wingård, Bishop of Gothenburg, in thanks for the funeral sermon that he gave for the deceased Queen in 1782.

The existence of Queen Lovisa Ulrika’s memorial cup, donated by the Friends of Nationalmuseum, has been unknown to most people until now. The silver cup is an impressive size and weighs almost three kilos, as befits a sister of King Fredrik the Great of Prussia. The rediscovery of the memorial cup adds an important jigsaw piece to the history of Swedish design at the Nationalmuseum. At the same time, this magnificent piece is an example of the long royal tradition of presenting an expensive gift to the key officials at ceremonies of state such as christenings and funerals.

The Dowager Queen Lovisa Ulrika died at Svartsjö Palace on 16 July 1782 and was buried in Riddarholmen Church on 31 July. The funeral sermon was given by Chaplain to the Queen Johan Wingård, Bishop of Gothenburg. In thanks for this, he was given this specially commissioned cup, which was then passed down through the family. The craftsman who made the memorial cup was Pehr Zethelius (1740-1810), a leading light in Swedish silversmithing during the late 18th century. Pieces from his workshop show both high artistic and technical quality. Zethelius became a real trendsetter and was responsible for introducing new styles from the Continent.

The memorial cup was donated in memory of Henry Montgomery (1927-2010), chairman of the Friends of Nationalmuseum from 1982-1994. The Barbro and Henry Montgomery Donation Fund was established in 1998 and is managed by the Friends of Nationalmuseum.

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