The sculpture of King Christian IX of Denmark on horseback was later used for a sculptural centrepiece, also by Michelsen, made in 1907 which was exhibited in Copenhagen, The Christianborg Palace, Princess Maria Feodorovna, Empress of Russia, 1997, p. 434-5, cat. no. 88. The catalogue entry refers to the present lot. The inscription on the base of the 1907 centrepiece records that the model was created in the 25th year of King Chritian IX of Denmark's reign to commemorate the Scandinavian Exhibtion in that year. It is likely the design of the centrepiece as a whole was complete was executed by Danish artist Hienrich Hansen (1821-1890).
A charming description of the Silver Jubilee is recounted by Captain Walter Christmas in his book, The Life of King George of Greece London, 1914, pp. 119-124. Captain Christmas was one of the naval officers on the Danish cruiser St. Thomas which travelled to Greece for the celebration, he thereforem witnessed the events first hand.
'The Athenians have always been masters at arranging celebrations, and on this occasion they exerted themselves to the utmost...the city was a glowing mass of colour with flags and floral decorations. Triumphal arches and swinging garlands spanned the streets, over the heads of crowds in festival humour, clad in picturesque costumes from every nomarchy in the country and Greek community outside it.' He continues, 'Long before the jubilee day royal guests and representatives from every European country began to arrive, while the harbour and the Gulf of Salamis were filled with warships from most of the maritime nations of the world.
First of all came the King's brother, the Crown Prince of Denmark; then the steam yacht Surprise appeared at Piræus with the future King of England aboard; on the following day the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh arrived; Austria sent an Archduke, Russia the two Grand Dukes, Sergius and Paul. Djevad Pasha came at the head of a special embassy from the Sultan...Finally envoys arrived from England, France, Germany, Italy, Roumania, Servia and even from the Pope, with autograph letters of congratulation from their sovereigns.'
Captain Walters' description of the celebrations also mentions numerous functions at the Royal Court, balls at the many legations, processions, gala performances and military reviews. He makes particular mention of a service of thanksgiving held at the cathedral in Athens when the people of Athens cheered the King and his entourage so deafeningly that the salutes and miltary bands were completely drowned out. Similarly two days later at a magnificent luncheon, given for five hundred guests in a vast marquee erected on the Acropolis, representatives of the many assembled nations vied with eachother to praise the achievements of King George.