The main nucleus of the collection of coins of the State Archive of Reggio Emilia was formed together with the Institute itself and, in chronology, is even pre-existent to it.

        A large number of coins, but also of medals and seals, was bought at his own expense by Ippolito Malaguzzi Valeri when he exercised his profession of archivist at what was still the provincial general archive of Reggio Emilia; when in 1888 he was appointed director of the State Archives of Modena, on leaving he left this collection of coins as a gift to the Reggio Institute; the Commission that then administered it accepted with a resolution of May 15, 1891 but did not formalize the delivery and acceptance.

        Not long after, with the Royal Decree of 20 March 1892, n. 222, the Provincial Archive was transformed into a State Archive and the gift affair was put aside for a few years. This led to 9 February 1899, when the Ministry of the Interior formally authorized the acceptance of the Malaguzzi gift. Later, during the 1st half of the century. XX were still made small donations from private individuals, sometimes even a single piece.

        This collection of coins is very composite but for this reason it offers the possibility of a wide-ranging look at European numismatics. The ancient coinage is adequately represented not only by the imperial Roman coins but also by a specimen of Neapolis of the sec. III a. C. and a couple of the Byzantine empire up to the century X d. C.

        The most numerous group of pieces consists of coins minted in the mint of Reggio: since the city obtained this privilege in the first half of the century XIII until the closure in 1573 at the time of Alfonso II d'Este, every authority that ruled over Reggio is represented by its coins, with the exception of Azzo VIII, who, moreover, made very few coins and for a very short time.

        In addition to the Duchy of Modena, of which Reggio was part, many European states, both ancient and modern, figure in the collection with their coinage: from the unique specimens of the Duchy of Athens of the Brienne (sec. XIII-XIV) and the Kingdom of Aragonese Naples (sec. XV) to more significant presences such as the duchies of Correggio and Mirandola, including also the Holy Roman Empire, then Empire of Austria, up to the coins of the Kingdom of Italy, both Napoleonic and Savoy.

        We want to point out also the not small section of the exonumia, that is of those numismatic objects other than the metallic or paper coins, but that they repeat many characteristics. For many it will be occasion of a first contact with a world little known and perhaps little considered for its specificity and also for its extension.

       Thus do their appearance account tokens, gambling, commemoratives, cards, plaques and coin weights, which were used by the testers to ensure the goodness of a coin. They close the lead casts of some Este coins, including the beautiful gold shield of Hercules II: they offer the opportunity to observe coins whose originals are not available, at least in this collection.

      As you can see, there is no lack of interest in getting to know the coins of this museum, also keeping in mind that coins are a fundamental historical source: think only of the iconography of the Roman emperors, depicted in their features by the contemporary coiners while making the necessary defect to the inevitable celebratory intent; one could still name the altars and temples supposedly represented as they actually were; a much deeper discourse would then deserve the reverses especially of Roman coins, real political manifestos of the state.

     A final fundamental clarification is needed. This work has been conducted by those who have no knowledge of numismatic matter and therefore, beyond the efforts made, can not make any claim to scientificity. The intent was not to let fall into oblivion a historical source worthy of consideration, with the hope that more capable and learned hands will pick up the thread and be able to conduct a more specific and in-depth investigation.

Catalogo delle monete del Museo


                                                                                              Catalogue of the Museum coins (13 MBs)



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