The Bruun family on Børøya

Peder (1737-1799) and Maren (1736-1821) Bruun came to Børøya in 1762 and settled on local trade and jekt trade. Over three generations and almost a century, the family built up a lot of wealth. The first two generations of Bruun did not have many children. Maren had only a son, Henrik Dinclow Bruun (1776-1827). Henrik married Anne Marlene Renner. We can see from the church records that Anne Marlene went through several births. She gave birth at least five times, but only one of these children grew up. A little girl also passed away when she was only ten years old, but her son Hans grew up and started his own family.

Peder owned the jekta “Håbet”, and eventually his son Henrik built an additional, slightly smaller jekt, which he named after his wife. Jekta was named “Anne Marlene”. With two jekts in operation, it was natural that the family made good money. They lived nicely in a stately residence on Børøya, designed by Ludvik Wiece in Bergen in 1805, and dressed in expensive clothes and got the master goldsmiths in Bergen to make them beautiful, specially designed jewellery.

Detalje fra rosa stakk i Bruunsamlingen
Matlassert, vatert, glanset stakk, stukket for hånd. Foto: Eirik Aspelund Linder

In the collection we find objects that tell about both everyday life and parties. We see beautiful, expensive, imported textiles, specially designed gold jewellery and party cannons for use in festive parties. We find children’s toys, tile games and dolls.

Håndskrevet kjærlighetsbrev
Foto: Eirik Aspelund Linder

We find tender declarations of love between people who have long since turned to dust, we find the ladies’ handicrafts, some forever half-finished, frozen in time. In the collection there are also several beautiful hand-sewn christening hats.

In 1840 it was over. Hans Bruun, like so many other jekt owners, had to go bankrupt. Several bad years in a row had toppled the economy. Fortunately, the family had good reviews with the locals in Hadsel, and they did not end up as paupers, as some did.

Et utvalg av objektene fra Bruunsamlingen, slik de er presentert på nettsiden Digitaltmuseum.no

The Bruun family has always taken care of the treasures from their heyday. After the Second World War, a large number of full coffins, boxes, crates and caskets were donated to what was then called the Vesterål Museum. More than 2000 objects, archives and art. Much of this has been packed away all the years since.

Today, the collection of the Bruun family is a national treasure that we are very proud to preserve. The collection of the Bruun family on Børøya belongs to Melbo Manor. We are working diligently to make everything available via digitaltmuseum, and want to bring this unique collection and the history of this family to light, where it belongs!