26 March – 30 May 2014

Exhibition curator: mgr Zbigniew Bartkowiak

Five unknown specimens of the denarii  of  Boleslaw Chrobry can be seen at the new seasonal exhibition which runs until the end of May.

It includes a denarius  on which the name of our state had been struck for the first time. The image of the coin can be found on  today’s 20 PLN  banknote. Another coin carries the name of Boleslaw on one side and of St Wenceslas on the other. This is the oldest numismatic specimen presented at the exhibition, minted in the years 995-997. While you walk round the display you will learn why a Polish coin carries the name of a Bohemian saint and how we know that the coin is actually Polish.

It will be also worthwhile to look more closely at the coin issued following the Congress of Gniezno which took place in 1000. “It is easily the prettiest coin shown here, the skill with which the unknown early 10th century mint worker executed the image of Duke Boleslaw  absolutely compelling”, argues Zbigniew Bartkowiak of the Numismatics Workshop, Poznań Archaeological Museum, and the  exhibition’s curator.

The numismatic collection  of the Poznań Archaeological Museum contains over 30 000 artefacts. It includes coins, jewellery and cast silver, both whole pieces and odd fragments. The largest group are hoards from the turn of the 10th and 11th c. – from the territory of Wielkopolska, dated to the period when the Polish state was being formed. The history of the collection goes back to the 19th c., but it had never been properly investigated and in that condition found their way to the Poznań’s Museum. A proper  scientific study was sadly thwarted by the illness and then death of the numismatic expert Alfons Wierzchowiecki.

The work on the inventory of the silver artefacts started only recently and the collection was submitted to a rigorous scientific inspection. In this way a number of highly interesting and rare coins have been discovered. One of them is the denarius of Boleslaw Chrobry presented at the current exhibition as part of the series Close encounters with… , which will run until the end of May 2014.