Lex Regia Det er: Den souveraine Konge-Lov – sat og given af den stoormegtigste höjbaarne fyrste og herre Herr Friedrich den Tredie…d. 14 novemb. 1665.
Copenhagen: 1709. Complete, large folio, 53,5×38,5cm. Engraved allegorical title and 18 plates, the title signed by Andreas Reinhard after Claus von Moinichen and Michael August Rög. Included are also a second engraved title and a fine equestrian portrait in a command of-hand calligraphic style (apart from the king’s head). The text within elaborate engraved borders consisting of floral sprays, flowers, peacocks, parrots, elephants and other animals or within borders of Renaissance ornaments incorporating fishes, seals, narwhales, bears, stags, horses, and various other Danish motifs.
A beautiful later red saffian binding, bound by Anker Kyster, Copenhagen. In slip case, made by the same.
Minor repair to spine ends. Else an attractive copy with incredibly fresh interior.
PROVENANCE: Einar Christiansen (1861-1939) with his book plate / ex libris on front paste down. Director of Det Kongelige Teater [The Danish Royal Theatre] 1899-1909. This copy is registered as no. 211 in the catalogue over his books, 1939.
On 14 November 1665, Frederik III consolidated his power over a weakened Danish nobility by promulgating the «Kongelov», or king’s law, which carried absolutism to its extreme. The «Lex Regia» was printed in 500 copies. The complete printing of the book was done from copper plates in an attempt to avoid potential forgeries. Some copies were left unbound in the Danish National Archive (Geheimsarkivet, later Riksarkivet), then bound around 1900. This copy most likely to be one of these.