Possible HCA suitcase on display at Copenhagen Airport
Copenhagen Airport has purchased an old trunk that may have belonged to Hans Christian Andersen. It is now on display in the transit area.
By Mikkel Stjernberg - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 07 August 2003
It cost no less than 30,000 Danish crowns, and it is far from certain that it belonged to Hans Christian Andersen. Nevertheless, Copenhagen Airport decided to put down this sum for an old suitcase from the 1800s, which is now on display in the transit area.
The auction house Bruun Rasmussen sold the trunk at an auction in May, asserting that they were reasonably convinced that the trunk had once belonged to the Danish writer of fairy tales.
Hans Christian Andersen specialists, however, are sceptical. The trunk is a meter (over 3 feet) in height, a half-meter broad and 85 centimeters deep and, according to Karsten Eskildsen, museum keeper for Odense City Museums, that is way too much. Particularly, in light of the fact that it was number five in a series of trunks of similar dimensions.
"In part, the problem is its size; in part, that the number five is written after Hans Christian Andersen's initials. This means that there must have been four others of the same size, and that makes it unlikely, in our opinion, that it was one of Hans Christian Andersen's trunks. He scrimped and saved, when he travelled, and he would hardly have wasted money on porters to transport so many large trunks," says Karsten Eskildsen.
For the same reason, Odense City Museums did not bid on the trunk at the auction in May, although representatives were present.
On the other hand, Karsten Eskildsen stresses, you should never say never and it would be a dream for someone interested in Hans Christian Andersen, if it really were his old suitcase now in the transit hall at Copenhagen Airport.