In September 1840 the Danish king Christian VIII, a well-known patron of arts, donated a cabinet of 2.568 coins to the University of Kiel, subsequently supervised by Peter Wilhelm Forchhammer (1801–1894). As noted in the comments on the Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum of the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, this royal donation was preceded by several coins being given to the king by Forchhammer following his traveling in the Mediterranean in the 1830s. While the composition of the royal donation is unknown today, it most probably still constitutes a large part of the Coin Cabinet of the Antiquities Collection of Kiel.
In the following decades up to his death in 1894, Forchhammer managed to enlarge the collection by acquiring further original coins and replicas and maintained correspondence with numerous collections, coin dealers and numismatists. An inventory of 1908 lists 2.570 original ancient coins, 1.510 replicas and an indisclosed amount of medieval and modern coins.
By official directive of the ministery from April 1913, approved by the curator of the University of Kiel in June 1913, all medieval & modern coins of the collection were given to the Institute of Art History. At this time the Coin Cabinet, which was formally attached to the Archaeological Seminar, consisted primarily of selections associated with the fields of ancient art and history. While another inventory from 1920 noticed circa 400 missing replicas, only 25 original ancient coins were lost. The first catalogue of the collection was written by Volker Zedelius around 1969, predated by an inventory of electroplated replicas by Jürgen Michel that had been conducted in 1961.
The Coin Cabinet of the Antiquities Collection of Kiel today is attached to the department of Classical Archaeology at the Institute of Classics in Kiel. It is housed in the Kunsthalle zu Kiel and contains over 1.500 original ancient coins, 42 byzantine, medieval and modern coins & medals as well as circa 300 electroplated replicas & numerous sulfur prints. For teaching purposes the collection is regularly integrated into the seminars of Classical Archaeology.
For further reading about the history of the Antiquities Collection of Kiel see: A. Haug (ed.), 175 Jahre Kunstmuseum. Mit einem Verzeichnis der Abgüsse und Nachbildungen in der Antikensammlung, Kunsthalle zu Kiel (Kiel 2015).
Antikensammlung · Kunsthalle zu Kiel
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Academic staff and responsibilities: Dr. Torsten Bendschus (2018–2019), Dr. Manuel Flecker
With collaboration of students of the Institute of Classics, Department of Classical Archaeology at Kiel University.
Photography: see each object entry's print view for details
Layout: Goldland Media
Maps: Goldland Media, Dr. Jürgen Freundel
This project is realized in cooperation with the Münzkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin: Coin database and online catalogue based on http://ikmk.smb.museum/ with shared data administration for the NUMiD-network and the semantic web.