Danish King got enshrined in his own clothes, appeared with his brothers’ when examined


Image: The motive is birds, in all probability peacocks, flanking a stylized tree or cross. It is composed of quite a few silk pieces sewn alongside one another. 1 piece, 30×40 cm, covers the entrance of the pillow…
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Credit score: © Nationalmuseet / The Nationwide Museum of Denmark

The cathedral in Odense, Denmark, has for 9 generations held the relics of the Danish King St. Canute the Holy and his brother Benedikt. They have been both of those murdered in this article in Advert 1086, and just a handful of years afterwards, in Advert 1100, King Canute was sanctified.

The heritage of the relics has been that of turmoil at instances, varying from first worship of the Catholic believers to becoming walled up and hidden following the protestant reformation in Advert 1536.

Because the nineteenth century the brothers’ wood shrines have been on show in the cathedral as heritage objects of countrywide significance.

Now, researchers have examined some of the textiles in the two shrines. They conclude that King Canute’s shrine no extended holds the valuable silk textiles put in it at his enshrinement.

In stead it is probable that the textiles from his brother’s shrine at some level have been moved to King Canute’s shrine.

The shrines of Canute and Benedikt have very long been a puzzle in Danish heritage. They both of those comprise quite a few very well-preserved textiles of silk and linen and the concern is: How old are the textiles and what is their historical context?

According to historical resources, both of those brothers have been coated in beneficial textiles when enshrined. Resources have described how Canute’s shrine in Advert 1536 was lined with gorgeous and uncommon silk.

A long time afterwards, both of those shrines have been walled up in the cathedral, put vertically so that the bones and textiles lay in a heap at the base of each and every shrine, and hereafter there are no reportings of the valuable textiles in King Canute’s shrine when it was re-examined in Advert 1694 and Advert 1833.

-It is tempting to advise that the king’s valuable textiles have been stolen at some level following Advert 1582, states professor and an pro in archaeometry, Kaare Lund Rasmussen from College of Southern Denmark.

When the two shrines have been taken off from their walled up hiding places and prepared to be put on show in 1874, researchers at the time have been puzzled by the absence of beneficial textiles in King Canute’s shrine – his brother Benedikt experienced the much more beneficial textiles – and they declared them selves not able to choose in which of the shrines the discovered materials belonged.

They determined to shift the greatest textiles from Benedikt’s shrine to King Canute’s shrine, so that he could be presented with the most gorgeous, most valuable textiles when on show underneath a glass lid.
Professor Kaare Lund Rasmussen and colleagues have performed chemical analysis of the textiles in both of those shrines and conclude that they are of the very same age, and that their age in good shape with Advert 1086, when the two brothers have been enshrined.

-Put alongside one another with historical resources this convinces us that nowadays, King Canute lies in his shrine with what is essentially his brother’s burial textiles, states professor Kaare Lund Rasmussen.

Among the the textiles, meant for Benedikt but afterwards put with Canute, are a pillow with birds and a textile identified as the Eagle Silk.

-They are exquisite and gorgeous, but King Canute’s textiles must have been even much more exquisite, states Kaare Lund Rasmussen.

According to senior researchers at the Danish Nationwide Museum, Ulla Kjær and Poul Grinder-Hansen, the high-class silks might have been despatched from South Italy to the shrines in Denmark by King Canute’s widow, Edel, probably brought residence by Canute’s fifty percent-brother, King Erik one. Ejegod.

At the time of Canute’s canonization and enshrinement, silk weaving in Europe was not nonetheless founded exterior the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire and silk was both of those a valuable and a lot-coveted import report.


The study is printed in the journal Heritage Science. Other Danish contributors to the scientific paper are Ulla Kjær and Poul Grinder-Hansen, senior researchers at the Danish Nationwide Museum, and conservator Morten Ryhl Svendsen from the Royal Faculty of Conservation in Copenhagen.

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