Kategoriarkiv: Augusta’s Friends

Cecilia’s Album: Louise Rudenschöld (Stenhammar) – A Childhood at Tyresö Castle

In Cecilia’s memory album, there is a beautiful drawing of a chapel by a lake. The drawing is signed, Louise Rudenschöld.

I assume that Louise copied a print, maybe of a chapel in the Dolomites (based on the architecture of the chapel and the mountains in the background).

Louise Rudenschöld

Eva Christina Lovisa (Louise) Rudenschöld was born on October 4, 1828, at Hinderstorp, a large estate south of Lidköping. Her parents were Count Thure Gabriel Rudenschöld and Countess Augusta Charlotta Lovisa Stackelberg. Louise had two younger sisters, Emma Augusta Ottilde, born 1830 (also at Hinderstorp), and Adèle Marina, born 1832 at Tyresö castle.

Louise’s maternal grandparents, Count Carl Adolf Ludvig Stackelberg and Eva Sofia Adelsvärd owned Hinderstorp where the family lived. They then bought a magnificent castle, Tyresö, southeast of Stockholm. Now, the extended family moved to Tyresö, where they attended their first church service in Tyresö parish in May of 1832.

Tyresö Slott

Louise was 3 ½ years old. Her early childhood memories would have been from Tyresö: running through the huge rooms of the castle, maybe being scared of the portraits on the walls, walking under fragrant linden trees in the expansive park, and maybe playing with a little dog.

In May of 1838, the family moved to Stockholm. Why did they give up their opulent lifestyle (yes, the number of servants in the household, listed in the church records, is mind-blowing, as are their titles or tasks) for an apartment in Stockholm? Maybe it was because of Louise’s father’s position as a chamberlain. Maybe they missed social life. Louise was now 10 years old.

The year Louise gave Cecilia the memory card, the family lived in Jacob’s parish at Malmskildnadsgatan 32. That’s where the shopping center Gallerian is located today.

Going to School

Did Louise and her sisters attend Edgren’s school? I know that Louise’s sister Adèle did (she will get her own story told in a separate blog entry). One would assume that all three sisters attended Edgren’s school and were friends with Cecilia and our Augusta.

Marriage

Louise married architect Per Ulrik Stenhammar (b.1829) in 1858. He designed Ersta Chapel in Stockholm and some other churches. He was also a composer of both sacred and secular music and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. The couple had (at least) 5 children. Two have their own Wikipedia pages – Ernst and Wilhelm.

Ernst Wilhelm Emanuel (1859-1927)
Anna Cecilia Augusta (1860-1909)
Christina Lovisa Gabriella (1862-1934)
Johan Samuel (1867-1872)
Carl Wilhelm Eugen (1871-1927)

Louise Rudenschöld with one of her sons

Wilhelm Stenhammar

The youngest child in the family was Wilhelm. He was musical prodigy.

Dinner with Countess M. Leijohufvud, together with Lieutenant Adolf von Koch, his Baroness, Mrs. L. Stenhammar, and others. In the afternoon music, among others by the young, 7-year-old Vilhelm Stenhammar, who improvised and played so extraordinarily well that those who had not heard him before, must be amazed at what they rightly called him “a prodigy”. Yes, in truth it may be said here – what may become of this child?” (Diary entry on 2 April 1878 by Pastor B. Wadström).

Wilhelm grew up to be a famous composer and pianist. He composed the music for a national anthem – a song called Sverige (Sweden), that is played on Swedish Radio at midnight every New Year’s Eve.

Religion

Louise was raised in a deeply religious family. Her father was one of the founding members of The Swedish Evangelical Mission Society (Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen). Pastor Wadström, who wrote the diary entry above, was a spiritual mentor to Louise’s grandfather. In his book From Memories and the Diary – Notes from the years 1848-1898 (Swedish: Ur Minnet och Dagboken – Anteckningar från åren 1849-1898), Wadström also included writings in his memory book by his friends. Lousie, her parents, her sisters, and her husband, all contributed to Pastor Wadström’s memory book and Louise even made a drawing.

Artistic Talent

Louise, her sister Adèle, their father, and their paternal grandfather were all hobby artists. Louise specialized in portraits and made drawings and watercolor paintings. Adèle was a sculpturist. Their  father made landscape drawings and oil paintings while their grandfather made landscape drawings.

Oil Paintings of Tyresö Castle by Louise’s father, Thure Gabriel Rudenschöld 1867. (Source: Uppsala Auktionskammare)

According to Uppsala University Library, the following drawings were made by Louise’s grandfather (who had the same name as her father, Thure Gabriel). These drawings of Tyresö were supposedly made in 1820-1830. Could they actually be drawings by Louise’s father? Nevertheless, they are beautiful drawings.

Source: https://www.alvin-portal.org/alvin/imageViewer.jsf?dsId=ATTACHMENT-0002&pid=alvin-record%3A369789&dswid=7816

Louise lived a long life and died in Stockholm in 1902. Her diary from 1884-1899 and some correspondence with her family members can be found in Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Archive.

Cecilia’s Album: Adèlaide Peijron (Sparre) – A Poem about Friendship

Today’s card in Cecilia Koch’s memory album is from Adèlaide Peijron. I wrote about Adèlaide in 2018 when I was searching for the girls who, like Augusta, lived with the Edgren family in Stockholm. Soon after writing the blog post, I received an exciting email from Adèlaide’s great-great-granddaughter (and our new friend), Kathinka Lindhe. At that time, she was working on a book about Adèlaide’s son. More about that down below.

Tomt och ödsligt blir Ditt lif
Om ej någon vän du äger
Wänskapen Ditt hjerta gif
Den allt annat öfverväger
Den är fast som klippans stål
Och ur denna verld dess mål

My translation (I am no expert on translating poetry and this time I took some liberties to improve on a simple literal translation)

Empty and desolate your life will be,
if not a friend you have.

A heartfelt friendship, do bestow,
a gift that beats all else.

Friendship – solid as a rock,
aim for it in life.

Who was Adèlaide?

Adèle’s full name was Adèlaide Virginia Peijron and she was born on 13 June 1831 in Stockholm. She was almost 13 years old when she wrote the loving poem to Cecilia.

Adèlaide’s mother was Adèlaide Elisabet Schön (1808-1837) and her father was the officer Edouard August Peyron (1796-1858) who had been introduced into the House of Nobility in 1837 with the new name, Peijron. In 1844, when Adèlaide wrote the poem to Cecilia, her father was a chamberlain (kabinettskammarherre) to King Oscar I.

Adèlaide’s mother died when Adèlaide was only 6 years old. It is understandable that the father could not take care of his young daughter. In 1840, at the age of 9, Adèlaide was therefore boarding with the Edgren family. She lived with the Edgrens until they left Stockholm in May of 1844. She then moved in with Mademoiselle Andriette Frigell who continued the school.

”My own Augusta!

Thank you, thank you, for your latest and, for so long, an anticipated letter which was dearly received.

… Yesterday, I was visiting Mademoiselle Frigel and she always asks about you and she sent you her warmest regards. Adèle Peyron also sent you lots of greetings. Erica Degermann and I are invited to Mademoiselle Frigell on a graduation ball on Tuesday…” (Lotten Westman’s letter to Augusta, 16 April 1846)

In September 1846, Adèlaide’s father married Anna Maria Bagge (1810-1858) and Adèlaide now had a stepmother. This upcoming wedding was already news in Mademoiselle Frigell’s school in the spring of 1846:

“Speaking of Mademoiselle F., Adèle Peyron’s father will remarry, with Mrs. Bagge, born Groen. So Adèle gets a stepmother. She went with her on May 1st but Adèle did not look happy at all, said Erica Degerman who saw her. Poor Adèle, I do not think it should be fun to have a new mother when you are that old.” (Lotten Westman’s letter to Augusta, 6 May 1846)

In 1853, Adèle married chamberlain Gabriel Gerhard Sigge Sparre af Rossvik and they had 2 sons and 2 daughters. One of the sons was Sixten Sparre.

Adele with her two daughters in 1860.

Sixten Sparre

Sixten Sparre was married and had two children when he became infatuated with a beautiful circus performer, Elvira Madigan. He left his family and convinced Elvira to leave the circus and join him. They traveled to Denmark but had no means to support themselves. Their ”honeymoon” ended in tragedy. Their bodies were found in a forest, Elvira presumably shot by Sixten who then shot himself. Their short story was the perfect fodder for the press – a romantic love story of a lieutenant and a beautiful circus artist who in desperation jointly committed suicide. Did they?

For the surviving family, it was something else – the tragedy, the shame, the history that should be forgotten and not mentioned. Kathinka Lindhe writes about this in her book Vacker var han, utav börd: Sixten Sparre, mannen som mördade Elvira Madigan (Transl. He was beautiful, of noble birth: Sixten Sparre, the man who murdered Elvira Madigan), published in 2020. It is a fascinating narrative about Sixten Sparre. She also writes about Adèle’s life after her son’s murder/suicide.

Adèle had had her own marital problems. Her husband had squandered all the wealth she had brought into the marriage. He had been forced to declare bankruptcy, and when he died in 1897, there was no inheritance for Adèle to live on. She had to manage on a pension but fortunately, she later received a substantial inheritance from a relative. She died in Stockholm in 1909, at the age of 78.

 

Cecilia’s Album: Axelina Fries (Fock) – A lock of her hair

Axeline Fries was 14 years old in May of 1844. When she sat down to write a card for Cecilia Koch’s memory album, she had already decided on her favorite poem. She knew it by heart.

Måtte nya blommor smycka,
Hvarje dag du möter än.
Intet saknas i din lycka,
Helgad utaf vänskapen.

(Literally translated as:
May new flowers adorn,
every day that greets you
Nothing lacking in your happiness
sanctified by friendship)

She made sure that her letters were perfectly lined up on the card and she underlined friendship (vänskapen).

But she wanted to give Cecilia something more and something personal.

A lock of her hair.

She gathered a few strands of her long, straight, brown hair and then, with her embroidery scissors, made the cut. She twisted the lock into two circles, like a pretzel, and tied it with a strand of red embroidery floss.

Two years later, her friend Cecilia died of measles and Axelina’s message would not bring any personal memories to those who read it. Now, 178 years later, I feel like I am finding a message in a bottle.

Who was Axelina? What did she look like? Did she marry? Did flowers adorn every day that greeted her?

Axelina Maria Magdalena Fries

Axelina was born in Malmö on September 5, 1829. Her father was Bengt Fredrik Fries (b. 1799), a professor of zoology who in 1831 became the curator of the Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. His wife, Axelina’s mother, was Anna Christina Lundberg (b. 1804).

Anna Christina Lundberg (Professor Bengt Fredrik Fries’ wife). Drawing by Maria Röhl, 1846.

 

Professor Bengt Fredrik Fries

Axelina had two younger sisters, Josefina Helena Gustafva (b. 1831) and Ida Maria Elisabet (b. 1834).

Axelina’s father died suddenly in 1839. In 1842, the family moved to Clara parish and to the house at the corner of Stora Vattugränd and Clara Östra Kyrkogata. It was the same house where Charlotta Lindström’s family lived (Charlotta, who also wrote a card for Cecilia’s album). The situations of the two families, Fries and Lindström, were similar. The fathers in both families were professors who had 3 young daughters when they suddenly died in their 30s.

Josefina and Axelina Fries in 1846. Drawings by Maria Röhl.

Axelina marries Baron Alfred Henrik Edvard Fock

“You probably already know that Axeline Fries is engaged to a Baron Fock, but they will not marry yet. He is awfully much smaller than her, it does not look very nice. When she takes his arm, he disappears right under her red coat.” (Lotten Westman’s letter to Augusta, March 6, 1848)

It was well known that Baron Alfred Henrik Edvard Fock was unusually short in stature. A friend of Alfred Fock, Fritz von Dardel, referred to him as “little Fock”.

“I had been asked to speak, but I instead persuaded little Fock to do it and he succeeded much better than I should have done.” (Fritz von Dardel describing a visit by industrialists and artists to thank Crown Prince Oscar for his support).

Alfred Fock. Drawing by Fritz von Dardel

Alfred Fock was born in 1818 in Bjurbäck, close to Jönköping. When Axelina met him, he was a lieutenant and a teacher of physics in Stockholm. He would later leave the military and become a professor of physics at the Technology Institute in Stockholm; nowadays the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He also became a member of parliament.

Alfred Fock

Axelina and Alfred got married on February 24, 1849. They had five children:

Anna Magdalena ”Malin” (1849-1933), did not marry
Axel Fredrik (1852-1878), did not marry
Carl Alexander (1854-1938), married Huldina Beamish
Gertrud Maria (1856-1856), died in infancy
Ida Lovisa Josefina (1864-1914), married John Edvard Magnus Sager

In the winter of 1858-59, Axelina and her two sisters visited Maria Röhl again. These are the artist’s quick sketches. She focused on the faces at these sessions.

Axelina, Josefina, and Ida Fries. Sketches by Maria Röhl.

A new home at Hantverkargatan 18, Kungsholmen

In 1851, the family moved to Hantverkargatan 18 (block Fikonträdet). They lived there until the end of the year 1856.

The address seems familiar, and in the house examination records, I recognize the names of Augusta’s childhood friends from Krusenhof in Kvillinge parish: the Hjort family. This is the house Augusta visited on her trips to Stockholm in the 1850s. And this is where she lived when she was ill with tuberculosis and was treated by Dr. Pehr Henrik Malmsten, a famous doctor in Stockholm. Augusta must have run into Axelina when she visited the Hjorts and when she stayed with them.

Augusta describes her visit to the Hjorts in her diary, March 12, 1851.

“The day after our arrival, we waded through quarter-deep dirt to our friends on Kungsholmen, where we were warmly received, had a pleasant evening and reminisced about our winter evenings at Krusenhof.

Aunt and Nanna have a small sunny and nice home, in the middle of a garden that extends all the way down to the lake shore. In the summer, this little place must be a real paradise where you have flowers and light, fresh air and Lake Mälaren’s blue surface and verdant islets to rest your eyes on, as well as the most magnificent views of Riddarholmen and Söder and, over all, the steamships that from different directions rush to their common goal – Riddarholmsbron.”

Axelina’s Grandchildren

Axelina died on October 9, 1888, in Stockholm. That should probably be the end of this blog entry – one about a young, happy girl who wrote a lovely poem to her friend and gave her a lock of her hair.

But there are at least two of her grandchildren who should be mentioned. Axelina’s son, Carl Alexander, and his wife Huldina had 5 daughters: Fanny, Elsa, Mary, Carin, and Lilly.

My Memory of Axelina’s Granddaughter Mary

I actually have a memory of Axelina’s granddaughter.

I am around 5 years old and we are celebrating midsummer at Rockelstad Castle in Helgesta parish. I only remember two things: my parents dancing in a crowded place, and the old countess, who lived in the castle, giving me a large, shiny coin, maybe a 2-crown or 5-crown coin as a prize in a game organized for the kids. I curtsy politely as expected of me. It feels like a fairy tale, getting a shiny coin from an old countess who lives in a real castle.

Countess Mary von Rosen was Axelina’s granddaughter. She was born in 1886 and married Count Eric von Rosen (b.1879) in 1905. He was a pilot, an ethnographer, and the owner of Rockelstad Castle.

When I was a child, our family spent the summers at Ådö in Helgesta parish not far from Rockelstad Castle. There were lots of stories about Eric von Rosen, of his travels, parties, hunting trophies, etc. That is all I knew.

When I searched for Axelina’s granddaughters, I learned that Eric von Rosen died in 1948 and his wife in 1967. I guess she wasn’t as old as I thought she was when I was little.

Axelina’s Infamous Granddaughter Carin

Mary’s younger sister Carin married nazi-leader Hermann Göring in 1922. He was working as a commercial pilot in Stockholm after World War I and knew Eric von Rosen (also a pilot). Carin was visiting her sister Mary when she met Göring at Rockelstad. The couple moved to Germany in 1922 and became high-profile members of the nazi party. Carin died before World War II in 1931, at the age of 42, from a heart attack. Hermann Göring’s war crimes are well documented.

Notes:

Axelina’s sisters Josefina and Ida never married.
The poem Axelina copied is an anonymous poem. It was published in a book in 1857.
All drawings by Maria Röhl are available at regina.kb.se

 

 

 

Cecilia’s Album: Charlotte Ahlberg (Weidenhielm) – Also an Artist?

Last week I wrote about Amelie Ahlberg who drew a picture of Haddon Hall. I speculated that her older sister, Charlotte, might also have given Cecilia a drawing for her memory album.

IMG-7943

In Cecilia’s album, there is a pencil drawing of a house. The painting is signed Charlotte and is dated 30 January 1844. Charlotte was a very common name in the 1840s and it is of course possible that the drawing was made by some other girl named Charlotte. However, because both drawings, Amelie’s and the one signed Charlotte, are excellent, I believe this one was in fact made by Charlotte Ahlberg.

Again, Google Lens nailed it and I should probably have recognized it anyway. This is Haga Palace outside Stockholm. It is now the home of the Swedish crown princess and her family. But which rendering of Haga Palace did Charlotte copy?

I search the Swedish Royal Library for images of this palace and can hardly believe my luck. There is a digitized copy of a lithograph from 1835 and when I crop it, I am stunned. Charlotte was a great artist!

Left: Lithograph of Haga Palace, 1835.  Right: Charlotte’s drawing, 1844.

Here is the full-size lithograph print:

Full-size lithograph

Charlotte Ahlberg

Charlotte Henriette Bothilda was the oldest child of Dr. Johan Daniel Ahlberg and his wife, Louise Henriette Moll.  She was born in Stockholm on September 20, 1828. She was confirmed in St Klara parish in 1845 and inducted into the Order of the Innocence in January 1846. Being inducted into the two secret orders, the Innocence and the Amaranth, was the introduction to high society. Augusta attended her first Innocence Ball in January 1844, a year before Charlotte.

Another important step was to have one’s portrait painted. To have a drawing made by Maria Röhl was also popular, and in 1852, the three oldest daughters – Charlotte, Emelie, and Eugenie – visited Maria Röhl.

Charlotte Ahlberg. Drawing by Maria Röhl, 1852

Marriage to Erik Oskar Weidenhielm

Erik Oskar Weidenhielm (b. 1816) was a nobleman and an officer. He also had his portrait drawn by Maria Röhl.

Erik Oskar Weidenhielm. Drawing by Maria Röhl, 1842.

Charlotte and Oskar married in 1857. Oskar had an illustrious career. He became the minister of national defense (Swedish: Statsråd och chef för landtförsvarsdepartementet). They had two daughters, Agnes Charlotta Henrietta (b. 1860) and Dagmar Elisabet (b. 1868).

Finally, I found several photographs of Charlotte later in life. Her outfits are really stunning.

Photos of Charlotte Ahlberg (Weidenhielm). Source: The House of Nobility’s Portraits.

 

Cecilia’s Album: Lovisa and Eugenia Dethmar

Lovisa (or Louise) Edgren (born Dethmar) was a beloved teacher. Unfortunately, there is not a single portrait of her. When the family Edgren’s private school for girls closed in 1844, the students kept in touch with each other and with their former teacher through letters, reminiscing about this wonderful time in their lives.

Lotten Westman’s letter to Augusta, Stockholm, 18 December 1845.

“Lucky Augusta who gets letters from Mrs. Edgren! Greet her a thousand times from me. Tell her that I still worship her as warmly as when I said goodbye to her for the last time, and when I start talking about them, it is always an inexhaustible topic and at those times, I forget both time and place and it takes me back to the happy times when I was educated by them; when a smile and a friendly word by Mrs. Edgren sent me to the seventh heaven. Tell her all this, and say that if in the future, whether I get ever so happy or unhappy, I will never forget them. Oh, when I just think of them, I get overly joyous.”

Lovisa Dethmar was born in 1802 at Reckenburg, an estate close to Anholt in southwestern Germany close to the Dutch border. Her father, Friedrich Wilhelm Dethmar, born in 1773, was the pastor in Anholt and a writer. Lovisa had at least two sisters, Eugenia, born in 1806, and Adelheid Clementine Therese, born in 1809. One sister moved to England.

When Lovisa was young, she was sent to Dresden to study. She was already a great artist and good at playing the harp. During her studies, she got interested in the works of the Swedish poet Atterbom and decided to visit Sweden. It is fascinating that a pastor’s daughter, in the early 1800s, was sent away to study so far from home. Dresden was famous for its architecture and art treasures and maybe she was sent to Dresden to study art? Or did she study literature? The fact that she traveled to Sweden because of an interest in poetry shows signs of independence and determination. Maybe it was these personality traits that made her such an engaging and loved teacher.

This is how I image Lovisa Dethmar in Dresden. Kerstin and I saw the painting there during our Augusta journey through Europe. The painting ”Woman on the Balcony was painted in 1824 by Carl Gustav Carus (1789-1869)

It was in Sweden she met her future husband, Johan Fredrik Edgren. He was an educated man and also a pastor. They were married in Anholt in 1838 and then settled in Stockholm. Lovisa’s sister, Eugenia, decided to join them and the same year, the family opened their private school for girls in Stockholm.

The school closed in June of 1844 when Pastor Edgren was appointed pastor at Morup’s parish on the Swedish west coast. As the girls in the school bade farewell to each other and the Edgren family, Cecilia got many cards for her memory album. But from some correspondence between Augusta and Lotten Westman, we believe that Cecilia actually stayed with the Edgren family in Morup after the school closed in Stockholm.

IMG-7922

Lovisa Edgren wrote her greeting to Cecilia in her native German. The owner of Cecilia’s Memory Album kindly provided me with a translation of the German text to Swedish. The English translation is my own.

In Swedish: Endast det rika sinnet älskar, endast det fattiga begär.” (Schiller)
In English:None but the wealthy minds love; poor minds desire alone.”

(The quote is from Friedrich Schiller’s Liebe und Begierde:

Recht gesagt, Schlosser! Man liebt, was man hat, man begehrt, was man nicht hat;
Denn nur das reiche Gemüt liebt, nur das arme begehrt.

 

In Swedish: Dig, min Cecilia, blev ett så rikt sinne givet, även oss har det glädjat att leva tillsammans med Dig. Förhoppningsfullt var den korta tiden även för Dig ej förgäves ödslad. Detta önskar längtansfullt,

Din trogna väninna L. Edgren”

In English: You, my Cecilia, were given such a rich mind, we too have been delighted to have you with us. Hopefully, the short time was not wasted in vain even for You. This wishes longingly,

Your faithful friend L. Edgren”

IMG-7930

Lovisa Edgren’s 38-year-old sister, Eugenia Dethmar, also wrote to Cecilia.

 

In Swedish:
”Dig ledsagar genom det vilda livet ett nådigt öde;
Ett rent hjärta gav dig naturen,
O! giv det så rent tillbaka!

Giv att världen möter dig så vänligt som du möter den,
giv att hon dig gör vad du gör henne,
så kan du bara bli lycklig.

Detta önskar dig din väninna E. Dethmar.”

In English:
”A merciful destiny shepherds you through the turbulent life;
Nature gave you a pure heart,
Oh! give it back so pure!

May the world treat you as kindly as you treat it,
may it do to you what you do to it,
then you can only be happy.

This is the wish of your friend, E. Dethmar”