Royal Castle Museum Coin Cabinet

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plac Zamkowy 4
00-277 Warsaw
Tel: +48 (0)22 35 55 170

The Royal Castle, located in Warsaw’s Castle Square, was the home of the Polish monarch. It was built in the years 1589-1619 for Sigmund III Vasa, from the Swedish dynasty of Vasa that ruled Poland at that time. The current structure was rebuilt several times, the last being 1971-1988 as a national monument of Polish history and culture when it was destroyed during World War II.

Exhibition of Coins and Medals in Polish History

The Cabinet of the Royal Castle in Warsaw was established in 1981 to continue the tradition of Cabinet des Médailles of the last Polish king, Stanisław II August (1764-1795). The Royal Castle’s Numismatic Cabinet has the largest numismatic exhibition in Poland, which opened in September 1985. From its collection, approximately 3,500 items are on display in the permanent exhibit, dating from the 16th century to the present time illustrating the history of Polish minting from the beginnings of the Polish State. In addition to coins, the exhibition includes a selection of banknotes, exchequers, and dies.

Also, the approximate 600 medals are a metallic record of Polish history. The most beautiful medals date from the Baroque period and are the work of famous medallists from Gdańsk such as Sebastian Dadler, and both Jan Höhn the Elder and the Younger.

This exhibition is a popular venue for holding museum classes that are conducted for school children. Since 1995 the Numismatic Collection of Bank Handlowy w Warszawie (Commercial Bank of Warsaw) has also formed part of this exhibition and from 2000, so has a selection of 86 medals and gold and gilded plaques from Andrzej Ciechanowiecki’s sizeable collection.

The Numismatic Collection of Bank Handlowy w Warszawie

The Numismatic Collection of Bank Handlowy w Warszawie has been on permanent display in the Numismatic Cabinet since 1992 and the collection was donated to the Castle in 2003. It comprises 155 numismatic items of outstanding artistic and historical merit—coins, medals, and banknotes, which are either Polish or connected with Poland.

The coins include very valuable, often unique, medieval issues of the denarii and bracteati of the first Polish kings and dukes. The modern coins include a large number of ducats and their multiples, as well as thalers and their fractions, of nearly all the Polish kings and coins dating to the period of the partitions, as well as the highly sought-after proof coins of the Second Republic (1918-1939). Besides the coins, the collection also contains some very rare banknotes—those dating from the Kościuszko Insurrection to the very first issues of the Bank of Poland, and banknotes and bonds dating from the times of the Polish national uprisings which took place in the 19th century. There are 40 outstanding gold and silver medals, including those from Silesia and Pomerania, commemorating royal coronations and weddings, as well as important events and distinguished people.

This text was written by Howard M. Berlin and first published in his book Numismatourist in 2014.

You can order his numismatic guidebook at Amazon.

Howard M. Berlin has his own website.

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