Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 237

    ‒    
 .
Portrait of Joseph Hambro,
(Portræt af Joseph Hambro)
Oil on canvas,
in. (
Signed and dated on lower left: C A Jensen
       :
Bruun Rasmussen, Auction
, lot
, ill. p.
         :
Bruce Museum of Art and Science, Greenwich, Connecticut and The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar
College, New York,
Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.
, no.
, ill.
         :
Sigurd Schultz,
C.A. Jensen,
I–II, Copenhagen
, no.
; Bo Bramsen and Kathleen Wain,
The Hambros
; Else Martensen Larsen and Hasse Neerbek,
Slœgter omkring Øregaard,
Øregaard Museum
(on Joseph
Hambro and his family).
commanding presence was captured by the artist C.A. Jensen in this portrait of Copenhagen industri-
alist and “virtual” banker Joseph Hambro, arguably the forerunner of the world-renowned Hambro
banking family. This depiction of Joseph Hambro at the age of forty-eight was painted at the height of his
brilliant business career by the foremost portrait painter of the time.
Another quite similar portrait of Joseph Hambro, commissioned by friends to commemorate his
eth birthday, can be viewed at the Copenhagen Stock Exchange (Det Danske Handelskammer) where his
visage joins those of the greatest leaders in the history of Danish Commerce. (Fig. A). A third portrait, very
similar to that in the Loeb collection, but smaller, is also dated
; here Hambro’s face appears more nar-
row and his hair has become grey. (Fig. B)
Joseph Hambro’s ingenious innovation of extending foreign loans to his trading clients ultimately
yielded large economic boosts for the Danish State and Court, and for which he received many honors,
including that of the prized title of Privy Counselor by King Frederik VI for successfully negotiating loan
agreements between England and Denmark. (The English government lent a large amount of money to
the bankrupt Danish government.)
Born in Copenhagen, Joseph Hambro had the right temperament and talent for furthering his German
father’s ambitions. Entrepreneur Calmer JoachimHambro had emigrated fromHamburg in
to Copen-
hagen, setting up a trading company called simply “C.J. Hambro.” Calmer’s young son Joseph, at the age
of seventeen, traveled back to Hamburg for an apprenticeship with the trading
rm of Furst, Haller & Co.,
but soon returned to Copenhagen to work in his father’s business, eventually taking it over in
. Secur-
ing a coveted wholesaler’s license, he rapidly built up a reputation as Copenhagen’s leading general cloth-
ier, only one aspect of his multi-faceted and far-reaching interests, including speculation in currency, spices
and sugar from the Danish Virgin Islands and wool from England.
Joseph married Marjam von Halle in
. It remained for their sole o
spring, Carl Joachim, to really
establish the Hambro family as world class bankers. Because of Marjam’s prolonged mental instability, (she
died in a mental institution in
) Joseph arranged for young Carl to be reared in the Christian home of
zoologist Johannes Reinhardt. Under the care of the Reinhardts as surrogate parents, the child was baptized
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