Monday, August 6, 2012

Castles and chests

Summer doesn't last long in Denmark, so you have to make the most it. Long days and cool breezes lend themselves to enjoying Shakespeare outdoors. We were invited by our English friend Isabelle (on the far right) to attend a performance of Shakespeare's play As You Like It at the Kronborg Castle. We lucked out with the weather and were able to enjoy a lovely picnic outside of the castle before the performance.
As you may remember from a previous post, Kronborg castle is the setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet (from where the line 'There's something rotten in Denmark' originates). Because of this connection, a Shakespeare play is performed every summer in Kronborg.
The stage is outside, in the castle's courtyard. Blankets are provided, which is greatly appreciated as it can get chilly when you sit for several hours. We had a great time: the actors were fantastic, the company was great, and the setting was beautiful.
We have added to our growing collection of possible antiques (possible because we have no verifications of dates)! We started with the piano, which you saw in the last post. We have now added this huge chest. We bought it for a steal from an online auction house and it was delivered today. Thank goodness the delivery truck driver was willing to help Bobby carry the chest up to the apartment; it weighs at least 50 kg/110 lb!
The chest may be from 1778, though we can't verify that. We can tell you that it's pretty darn old, because it has hand-made nails and hand-forged iron bars. The initials, HR S, are short for Herr S, or Mr. S. Unfortunately, we don't know the history of it, but that leave us the freedom to make up the history! We have decided that it was a chest belonging to Bobby's great-great-great-great grandfather, Herr Sturm. Hey, if the initial fits!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Plus Shipping and Handling

We are the proud owner of this beautiful upright piano! While browsing through (short for Den BlÄ Avis, or The Blue Paper, its's the Danish equivalent of CraigsList), Bobby saw this piano listed for only 10 kr. After calling the owners, he learned that they needed extra space and were therefore giving the piano away for free. All we had to pay for was moving. How could we say no?
We aren't quite sure how old the piano is, but the maker, Copenhagen-based Larsen og Petersen, went out of business in 1923. We can't find much information on the piano nor its maker, but we did learn that in the early 20th century, Copenhagen had 40-50 different piano makers. 
We are guessing that the piano is around 100 years old. It has these two beautiful candle holders, which were used to read music. The piano needs to be tuned, but for the most part it is in great condition.
Many thanks to our friend Nick (who you may remember from when we visited him in England), who went with Bobby in early July to check out the piano. Aside from being a great tandem rider (as pictured here), Nick is also a fantastic musician and pianist. He gave us the green light for acquiring the piano.