Comment on 17.1.1804
The busts reached Copenhagen on board the frigate Triton 10.12.1802, cf. T.A. Topsøe-Jensen & Emil Marquard: Officerer i Den Dansk-Norske Søetat 1814-1932, Copenhagen 1935, vol. I, p. 98. However, the busts did not remain for 15 months at the Custom House, as Abildgaard writes. According to a letter dated 21.1.1804 from Herman Schubart to Thorvaldsen, they had already been placed on 15.12.1803 at the residence of Crown Prince Frederik (6.), as Abildgaard mentions below.
So, Abildgaard exaggerates the length of time the busts remained at the Custom House, nor is it entirely correct that “…I have only just received …” news of their arrival. Already a month before the date of this letter, he must have had the busts in his care in order to be able to send them to the Palace.
Abildgaard may exaggerate a little in order to hide that he had actually been informed of the arrival of the busts at the Custom House earlier but had not had time to take care of them?
Last updated 22.01.2018