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Christopher Tostrup Paus, Count of Paus (10 September 1862 – 10 September 1943) was a Norwegian landowner, heir to the timber firm Tostrup & Mathiesen, papal chamberlain and count, known as philanthropist, art collector and socialite in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He gave large donations to museums in Scandinavia and to the Catholic Church. A convert to Catholicism, he was appointed as a papal chamberlain by Pope Benedict XV in 1921 and conferred the title of count by Pope Pius XI in 1923.

Christopher Paus
Count of Paus
Christopher de Paus.JPG
Christopher Paus (painting, Herresta) in the court dress of a papal chamberlain, in Spanish Renaissance style
Coat of armsPaus COA (comital).svg
Born10 September 1862
Christiania, Norway
Died10 September 1943
Skodsborg, Denmark
BuriedVår Frelsers gravlund
Noble familyPaus
FatherMajor Johan Altenborg Paus
MotherAgnes Tostrup



A silhouette of Christopher Paus' grandfather, Henrik Johan Paus (no 2 from left), with Henrik Ibsen's mother Marichen Altenburg (right) and her parents Johan Altenburg and Hedevig née Paus, probably from the late 1810s

Born in Christiania, he belonged to the Skien branch of the Paus family, and was the son of Major and War Commissioner in Molde Johan Altenborg Paus (1833–1894) and Agnes Tostrup (1839–1863). His father was a son of lawyer and judge Henrik Johan Paus (1799–1893), who owned the estate Østerhaug in Elverum, while his mother was a daughter of timber magnate Christopher Henrik Holfeldt Tostrup (1804–1881), one of the two main owners of Tostrup & Mathiesen, one of Norway's largest timber companies. Christopher Paus's father was also a first cousin of playwright Henrik Ibsen.[1] As a young man, Christopher Paus would visit the then-famous Henrik Ibsen in Rome, where he lived. His great-grandfather Christian Lintrup was one of the pioneers of the medical profession in Norway.[2]

Personal seal of Christopher Paus
Trystorp château
Christopher Paus
Christopher Tostrup Paus' grandfather, timber magnate Christopher Henrik Holfeldt Tostrup
Magleås outside Copenhagen, Denmark

Christopher Paus became a millionaire as a young man when he inherited a fortune from his maternal grandfather and his two childless uncles Oscar and Thorvald Tostrup, who were all co-owners of Tostrup & Mathiesen. His family sold their shares of Tostrup & Mathiesen to their business partners, the Mathiesen family, in the 1890s, and the company was since renamed Mathiesen Eidsvold Værk and continued under that name and as Moelven Industrier. His maternal grandfather had also owned the estate Kjellestad in Stathelle.

A convert from Lutheranism to Roman Catholicism, he was appointed a Privy Chamberlain of the Sword and Cape (Cameriere Segreto di Spada e Cappa) by Pope Benedict XV on 22 February 1921[3] and re-appointed by Pope Pius XI on 8 February 1922[4] and by Pope Pius XII on 7 March 1939.[5] By tradition, a Norwegian Catholic would hold this position, and he succeeded Wilhelm Wedel-Jarlsberg who held the post some years earlier.[6] He was conferred the title and rank of Count by Pope Pius XI on 25 May 1923.[7] He bought the estate Narverød near Tønsberg (Norway) in 1892, the estate Trystorp with château in Lekeberg (Sweden) in 1914, and the estate Herresta outside Mariefred (Sweden) in 1923. In 1942, he bought the mansion Magleås outside Copenhagen in Denmark. He divided his time between his various properties in Scandinavia and Rome.

Christopher Paus was a major art collector, and notably owned the largest collection of Greek and Roman art in Scandinavia, which he largely donated to the National Gallery of Norway in 1918.[8] He also made donations to museums throughout the Nordic countries and in Rome.

He died in Skodsborg in Denmark without children in 1943, and bequeathed much of his estate to select members of the Paus family. In 1938, Herresta was sold to his second cousin Herman Paus, who had married Countess Tatyana Tolstoy, a granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy; their descendants still own Herresta and other Swedish estates. Magleås was inherited by Thorleif Paus, who sold it to the Catholic Church some years later. It was held a mass for him, as a member of the Papal Court, in the Pope's private chapel on 14 September 1943 with Pope Pius XII in attendance.[9] He is buried at Vår Frelsers gravlund in Oslo, in the same grave as his mother, maternal grandfather and other members of the Tostrup family.

Titles and honoursEdit

He was usually known as Christopher Tostrup Paus in Norway, but like some other family members he used the name de Paus abroad as an international form of the name; in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis and the Annuario Pontificio, his name is partially translated into Italian as (conte) Cristoforo de Paus.[4][10]

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 10 September 1862 – 25 May 1923: Christopher Tostrup Paus
  • 25 May 1923 – 10 September 1943: His Excellency The Count of Paus


Papal and Catholic honours

Scandinavian orders of knighthood

A list of honours as of 1934 is found in the book Den Kongelige Norske St. Olavs Orden.[11]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Høgvoll, Arvid; Bærland, Ruth (1996). Henrik Ibsen: herregårder, kammerherrer, godseiere og proprietærer : brokker av en slektshistorie. p. 83.
  2. ^ Hans Petter Schjønsby, "Amtsfysikus Christian Lintrups virke i Hedemarkens amt i årene 1800 - 31", Tidsskr Nor Legeforen 2010; 130:2484-7
  3. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis: Commentarium Officiale, XIII, MCMXXI (1921), p. 183
  4. ^ a b Acta Apostolicae Sedis: Commentarium Officiale, XIV, MCMXXII (1922), p. 173
  5. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis: Commentarium Officiale, Annus XXXI, Series II, Vol. VI, M DCCCC XXXIX (1939), p. 241
  6. ^ Aftenposten 1943.09.13
  7. ^ Gerber, Tage von (1924). "de Paus". Sveriges ointroducerade adels kalender 1925 (in Swedish). Malmö: Sveriges Ointroducerade Adels Förening. p. 94.
  8. ^ "Hva Nasjonalgalleriet skylder kammerherre Paus", Aftenposten, 13 September 1943, p. 3
  9. ^ Aftenposten, 15 September 1943, no. 425, p. 3
  10. ^ Annuario Pontificio, p. 859, 1928
  11. ^ S. Blom (red.): Den Kongelige Norske St. Olavs Orden, A. M. Hanches Forlag, 1934, p. 114
Italian nobility
Preceded by
Title created
The Count of Paus
Succeeded by
Title extinct