The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 15, April 10, 2011, Article 7


Howard Berlin is on the road again, and he filed this report for readers of The E-Sylum. Thanks! Great photos. -Editor

Your humble Numismatourist has just returned from his first trip of the 2011 travel season and was fortunate to have visited three numismatic venues – one that was unexpected.

When in Budapest, there was a short run exhibition of the gold treasure of Košice at the Hungarian National Museum. Located on the city's "Buda" side of the Danube, the treasure is being displayed in the museum's Strong Room, where the coronation mantle is normally kept. The hoard, regarded as one of the 20th century's most sensational finds, consists of 2,920 gold coins, three medals, and a 2-meter gold chain. These were found in 1935 in a copper casket during the renovation of the Košice's Financial Directorate's building. It is thought that it was probably hidden by a high ranking Habsburg administration official. 85% coins are Hungarian, Transylvanian, and Dutch, but there are also Bohemian, Silesian, Polish, German, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Austrian, Salzburg, and Spanish issues. The oldest coins are the gold florins of the Hungarian king Sigismund of Luxemburg, minted between 1402 and 1404. The "newest" are ducats of King Leopold I, minted in Kemnica in 1679. The most valuable item of the hoard is a unique 1541 medal of Ferdinand I.

National Bank of Serbia

Zagreb's Archeological Museum I then traveled to Belgrade and while there, I visited the National Bank of Serbia which has a permanent exhibit of coins and banknotes. The exhibit covered the history of coins from the ancient world to the present, including the former Yugoslavia and its inflationary period of the early 1990's. Among the exhibits were three bars, all physically the same size, inside a protective transparent case (probably bulletproof also). Each bar - 5 kg iron, 12.5 kg gold, and 7.4 kg lead, had a protruding handle in which you could lift each bar to feel how heavy each one was in comparison. There were exhibits on security features of the Serbian, Euro, and U.S. paper money. In addition the museum was exhibiting a temporary exhibit of coins and banknotes from Brazil. One highlight for me was that I was able to print a souvenir 1-dinar banknote with my picture as a portrait and watermark. Actually, there is no current 1-dinar banknote, only the coin.

National Bank of Serbia

Zagreb Archeological Museum

Zagreb Archeological Museum From Belgrade I flew to Zagreb, via Budapest, rather than take the long train ride. There the Archeological Museum has an exhibit of coins throughout several floors. At the same time, the museum had an exhibition of medieval torture instruments. I especially liked this "office chair." Actually, it is an "interrogation seat," used in central Europe. The "accused" (who was almost found guilty) was placed naked in this seat in such a way so that any movement would cause his/her skin to be pierced by the spikes (ouch!).

This torture (I guess this would have to be defined as such by Obama and the Supreme Court) would last several hours and the tormentor heightens the pain by striking the victim's limbs or other methods, i.e., pliers, etc. One of the museum's highlights is what is called the "Zagreb Mummy," which was discovered in Egypt in the 19th century and carried back to Yugoslavia by a traveler. The Zagreb Mummy was found to be wrapped in a linen book printed with the longest only existing Etruscan text. It is mostly untranslated, as such little knowledge of the language exists. However, it is believed to be a ritual calendar.

Next trip is in May: Milan, Genoa, Bologna, and San Marino (several numismatic venues here in the world's oldest sovereign state)

Budapest Hoard exhibit flyer cover Coincidentally, Dave Hirt mailed me something a week or so ago about the exhibit in Budapest. With my computer problem I didn't have time to scan and publish it, but this is a great opportunity. -Editor

Dave Hirt writes:

In Budapest I viewed this numismatic gold hoard found in Slovakia in 1935. The condition of these coins was quite amazing. They looked like they were just minted. There were some very rare coins among them. It was quite enjoyable for me.

Budapest Hoard exhibit flyer inside

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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