Brussels Coin Cabinet

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The history of the Brussels Coin Cabinet starts on 8 August 1835. At that time it was part of the "Musée d'armes anciennes, d'armures, d'objets d'art et de numismatique". Three years later the cabinet was integrated in the Royal Library of Belgium.


Over the years purchases and gifts have expanded the size of the cabinet.

1899 the cabinet buys the collection of Albéric du Chastel. It consists of approx. 800 Greek and Roman pieces. Some of these are rare, for instance the aureus of Uranius Antoninus.

One year later it obtains its most precious gift. After the death of big time collector Lucien de Hirsch, his mother gives his collection to the Belgium State. The biggest treasure of this collection is without doubt the tetradrachm of Aetna, supposedly the most valuable item in the entire field of numismatics whatever the period or the place of striking.

In 1904 the cabinet is again enlarged with a big collection. With the H. Surmont de Volsberghe collection the cabinet gains many hundreds coins, medallions, decorations and jetons.

In 1924 the Cabinet shares with the University Foundation the collection of count B. de Jonghe. Soon after this transaction, the foundation handed its part over to the cabinet.

In 1971 the National Bank of Belgium made the cabinet gatekeeper of the 'treasure of Liberchies' (hundreds of Roman aurei).

1976 addition of 5.549 pieces via the collection of Dom Grégoire De Clercq.

More recent gifts are the collections of Claude Roelandt and Zéphyr Henin.