Odnalezienie resztek kolekcji numizmatycznej Schlesisches Museum für Kunstgewerbe und Altertümer z Wrocławia
REDISCOVERING THE REMNANTS OF THE NUMISMATIC COLLECTION OF THE SCHLESISCHES MUSEUM FÜR KUNSTGEWERBE UND ALTERTÜMER, WROCŁAW (FORMERLY BRESLAU)
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Warmątowice Sienkiewiczowskie, a village located in the vicinity of Legnica in Lower Silesia, grew to importance for numismatics after World War II. Information about coins from "hoards" from this village, or purchased from its inhabitants, first appeared in 1958 in the acquisition books of the following institutions: Muzeum Miedzi (Museum of Copper) in Legnica, National Museum in Wrocław and the Ossoliński National Institute. According to these records, the total number of coins and medals from Warmątowice in Polish public collections exceeds 1000. Most of them are medieval and modern Silesian coins and medals, but there are several dozens of ancient coins (mainly Roman denarii, but also an aureus of Antonia and a solidus of Justinian). Although it has not been explained how the inhabitants of Warmątowice came to the possession of the numismates, numismatists have generally agreed that we are dealing with an old collection, formerly stored in the prewar Schlesisches Museum für Kunstgewerbe Altertümer in Wrocław (then Breslau), which consisted of several hundred ancient coins and a few thousands of medieval and modern Silesian coins and medals. According to the so-called “Grundmann’s list” the collections of Schlesisches Museum für Kunstgewerbe Altertümer were evacuated to Eichholz (today’s Warmątowice) in 1944. They were stored in hiding in the palace that belonged to the family of von Olszewski before the war. When in February 1944 the Soviet troops occupied the palace, they found the collection. A part of it is said to have been thrown by the soldiers into the wide palace moat. If a part of collection had been looted by the Red Army, it would have been trasported to Russia. The moat was cleaned in the 1960s without any archaeological supervision and most probably the coins and medals found their way to the fields belonging to the village together with the sediments from the moat that were used as fertilizers. This may explain the fact that for decades the local residents and treasure-hunters have been discovering valuable numismates in Warmątowice. Large group of coins was found in Warmątowice in 2007 by a treasure hunter. He posted images of typologically and chronologically diverse find of ancient and Silesian coins on one of the Internet forums. The National Centre of Monuments Research and Documentation was informed about the find, which was soon interpreted as a war loss of special value for the culture and heritage of Lower Silesia. The finder tried to keep in his possesion the most valuable specimens, but the police from Legnica managed to recover all the coins. Currently they are kept in thr Museum of Copper in Legnica as a deposit of the police in Legnica. Also in 2007, archaeologists conducted archaeological research in Warmątowice using metal detectors. They found ancient coins: a denarius of Trajan, a Roman bronze coin from the 4th century B.C., a Celtic coin from a tribal territory in southern Britain. There discovered also a modern fantasy denarius imitating Roman Republican coins (6 figures).
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