/ / The Cabinet of medals and coins, (Cabinet des Medailles)

The Cabinet of medals and coins, (Cabinet des Medailles)

The Cabinet of coins and medals is officially the Department of medals and antiquities of the National library of France. This Museum has perhaps the most rich and interesting numismatic collection in Europe - about 600 thousand exhibits.

Your story it leads from the Royal collection of coins. The French monarchs were often fond of numismatics. Gave her the tribute of Francis I of Valois and his son Henry II. After the death of Henry, his widow Catherine de Medici gave the collection to his son, Karl IX. Each new monarch considered it his duty to expand the collection, which gradually became the largest in Europe. The most significant additions made connoisseur of art Louis XIV: he has poured in here the collection of his uncle, the Duke of Orleans and the count Hippolyte de Béthune. The great-grandson of the Sun King Louis XV placed the collection in the Royal library in the Palace of the Marquis de Lambert - here she is now.

After the fall of the Royal authority to the head of office was appointed théophile Marion Dumaran, arrived here to work as a youth of sixteen. Under Napoleon, the meeting was added to the state collections of coins of all the defeated countries and has reached unprecedented completeness. When the allied troops entered Paris, modest numismatist Dumaran accomplished the feat - not allowed to plunder the collection. During the XIX century the Museum not once replenished: he gave his collection of Baron Burle d Eya (coins of the Roman Republic), the Duke de Luynes (7000 Greek coins), a famous collector of du saulcy (7000 coins of Gaul). In 1867 the Office bought for 30,000 francs (equivalent at that time of 8.7 kilograms of gold!) rare gold stater of the king of Bactria Evkratid I.

Now in the collection of the Cabinet - 46 thousand coins of Greece, 45 thousand - Rome, 12 thousand - Gaul and France. But not only coins attract visitors. Here is the world's largest cameo, carved from a single onyx, size 31 by 26 centimeters. Jewelry miracle refers to the first century ad, the time of the Emperor Tiberius. The Museum boasts exhibits such as the Cup of the Ptolemies (sardonyx, I century BC), king Solomon's Cup (gold and crystal, the Sassanid era), Golden salary gospel, which Charles IV gave the chapel of Saint-Chapelle.

In the Museum you can see ancient machines for minting coins. Twice a week visitors to observe the process of coinage made of precious metals - a rare opportunity!