The Numismatic collection

The Coin Collection of the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum in Brunswick is today kept at Burg Dankwarderode in Burgplatz and comprises roughly 30,000 coins, medals and coin-like items from classical antiquity to the modern age. Some outstanding pieces are exhibited at Burg Dankwarderode.

The collection of coins and medallions was begun by the Dukes of the House of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Several of these Guelf dukes established coin collections from the middle of the 17th century onwards. From 1754 these collections have been brought together in the Brunswick Kunst- und Naturalienkabinett which was founded by Duke Carl I. In line with collection traditions at that time and the interests at the ducal court, the first coins to be collected were above all from classical antiquity and coins and medallions of the Guelfs. The collection of north and central German bracteates that is today in the possession of the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum is outstanding. This collection was extended in the 19th and 20th centuries by the acquisition of important collections and treasure troves. Paul Jonas Meier bought a remarkable collection of French and German Art Nouveau plaques and medals for the Museum. In the course of the centuries a universal collection of German, European and non-European coins developed.

Greek and Roman coins

Of the roughly 1900 Greek coins that are part of the collection today, 1815 were listed in the 1998 inventory catalogue “Die griechischen Münzen” by Wolfgang Leschhorn. The number of gold and silver coins is very small as great losses occurred among antique precious metal items during the Napoleonic period.

In the case of Roman coins there were similarly great losses during Napoleonic times. The largest proportion of the roughly 2,450 Roman coins that are still extant were listed in 2006 in Wolfgang Leschhorn’s inventory catalogue “Die römischen Münzen”. Some outstanding portrait coins of Roman emperors have since been added to the collection. In order to complement the series of imperial portrait coins, the Brunswick dukes did not hesitate to acquire imitations of Roman coins. For this reason, the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum owns a number of so-called Paduans, imitations of Roman coins from the Renaissance.

Medieval coins

Medieval coins were collected by the dukes from the 18th century onwards. In the 19th century, this collection, which today comprises roughly 10,000 pieces, was enlarged by the acquisition of the collections of the Braunschweiger Landschaft and that of the librarian Carl Philipp Christian Schönemann from Wolfenbüttel. It is thanks to Paul Jonas Meier, the Museum’s director and state curator at that time that in the late 19th century and early 20th century important medieval treasure troves were integrated into the collection. Examples include the finds in Ausleben and Gröningen in 1872, Seega in 1902, Borne in 1903 and Helmstedt in 1924. In addition, parts of important private collections were acquired, for instance from the collections of Emil Bahrfeldt, Arthur Löbbecke and Heinrich Buchenau.


Among the more than 1500 medals, the silver coins of the Guelf dukes, which were minted form the 16th to the 19th centuries for special occasions and representative purposes, are particularly outstanding. The collection of medals also includes a series of papal medals as well as medal series by the Geneva medallist Jean Dassier and the Swedish artist Lea Ahlborn.

Modern coins

Apart from coins minted in Germany and other European countries, the universal collection of modern coins also contains pieces from Asia, America and North Africa. Germany, Russia, Scandinavia, Italy and France form the historical core of this collection.

Among the treasures to be discovered and studied in the Virtual Coin Cabinet are the silver Throne Penny of Henry the Lion, impressively designed modern medals as well as valuable precious metal coins from classical antiquity. The Numismatic Collection of the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum with its roughly 30,000 coins and medals is a historically and culturally remarkable collection of great art historical and socio-cultural interest. This is particularly true of the collection of European medieval coins and modern medal art. The opening of the Virtual Coin Cabinet heralds a completely new chapter in the areas of documentation, research and presentation of this inventory. The portal establishes a trendsetting perspective for the protection of cultural assets and offers the opportunity to give unrestricted access to the coin collection for research, teaching and for the general public.

The initiator of the digitalisation project, Prof. Dr. Johannes Wienand, has been a professor of ancient history at the Technical University of Brunswick and director of the Numismatic Collection at the HAUM since April 2018. He installed the portal with the support of the Coin Cabinet of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin ( and in cooperation with the NUMiD Network ( (German link)). The databases are internationally linked (e.g. with the American Numismatic Society and the University of Oxford). The digitization is based on the shared use of authority files and a multi-tiered quality control. A special feature of the Virtual Coin Cabinet is the eMuseum – with the launch of the portal there will be an online exhibition of the Brunswick coins and medals. More exhibitions are planned.    


Prof. Dr. Johannes Wienand

Head of Numismatic Collection

Phone +49 531 1225 - 2464
Fax +49 531 1225 - 2408

Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum
Museumstr. 1
38100 Braunschweig