A letter from Christian the Tyrant, 1525

A unique letter from the king Christian the Tyrant from 1525 will be sold at the auction Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts in September.

Kristian Tyranns namnteckning

CHRISTIAN II OF DENMARK - CHRISTIAN THE TYRANT (1481-1559). King of Denmark, Norway between 1513-23 and Sweden 1520-21 during the Kalmar union. In Sweden he was known as "Christian the Tyrant" after the massacre in Stockholm in 1520.

Signed document, 1 page in folio (285x210). Dated October, 1, 1525. Adress with blindstamped seals. Outer right part and margin repaired. Some minor spotting.

The document is written in old Flemish and issued by Christian II and his wife Elisabeth, "Queen of Denmark, Sweden and Norway". It is addressed to the mayor  and council ("Scepenen" =kind of civil servants) in Antwerp, and is a request to release Henryck van Litten. He had helped a servant (Henryck Snaer) of the notorious admiral and pirate Claus Kniphoff with customs affairs regarding a load of grain and pepper. The goods were sent by Kniphoff to the court of Christian and his wife queen Elisabeth, who were at that time (October 1, 1525) in exile in Lier, a small town south of Antwerp in the Netherlands. Christian was working to regain his position and he was, amongst others, helped by Kniphoff, an illegitimate son of mayor Jürgen Kock in Malmö.

Kniphoff (1500-1525) had been given a letter of marque as a privateer by the king, mainly to disrupt Denmark's trade with the Hanseatic League in the North and Baltic sea (Christian later denied this when asked by the the Dutch monarch Margrete). Claus Kniphoff was declared to be a common pirate and was after his capture beheaded in Hamburg October 30, 1525. 

Christian remained in the Netherlands until 1531, he tried to regain the crown in 1532, but was captured and spent the the rest of his life locked away in Sönderborg castle and Kalundborg in Denmark. He died in 1559. Photo.

Documents signed by Christian II of Denmark are rarely to be found on the market. We have not been able to find any auction records for the last 30 years.

The unique letter will be sold at the auction Rare Books, Maps & Manuscripts 18 September 2012. Estimate 120-150.000 SEK.

 

Contact our experts

Katharina Fahlstedt
tel: +46 8 453 67 49
katharina.fahlstedt@auktionsverket.se
Hans Larsson
tel: +46 8 453 67 47
hans.larsson@auktionsverket.se

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