All seven purchased coins. Photo: Nationalmuseet

The National Museum purchases seven rare coins

Read Time:4 Minute, 6 Second

The National Museum has exercised a preemptive right to acquire seven unique coins from the coin collection of the butter wholesaler Lars Emil Bruun before it is sold at auction. This was announced by the National Museum in a press release.

With generous support from the Society of Friends of the Royal Coin and Medal Collection, founded in 1945 for the specific purpose of providing financial assistance when Bruun’s collection was released for sale, the National Museum has purchased the coins for a total price of 7.7 million kroner. The money was donated by the Society to the National Museum.

These consist of six gold coins and one silver coin, all minted in the 15th to 16th century Danish-Norwegian monarchy. Two of the coins were minted in Christiania, modern-day Oslo.

Two of the gold coins were minted in Haderslev for the still underage Christian 4 by his mother, Sophie of Mecklenburg. They were likely used as display coins with political content. In any case, the content of the coin motifs led to clashes between the Council of the Realm and the dowager queen. Both coins have mounting traces, probably from eyelets, so they could be worn as jewelry or medallions.

“All seven coins are unique in their own way and very well-preserved. We have carefully selected them to complement the coin collection we have at the National Museum. The coins come from older collections, but we can only trace their precise purchase and sale history back to the 19th century,” says Helle Horsnæs, senior researcher and responsible for the Royal Coin and Medal Collection at the National Museum.

All gold coins are unique in the sense that there is only one specimen of this type. That is to say, there may be coins with the same value and year, but minted with different dies. Or coins that are minted with the same die, but in different denominations.

The silver coin – the triple Norwegian specie dollar in silver – was previously considered unique, but in the 1970s another specimen was traded and is now in a private collection.

Preemptive right for selected coins

For 1000 years, Bruun’s coin collection has served as a reserve for the Royal Coin and Medal Collection at the National Museum, in case it should be lost in a fire or theft. Since this has not happened, the collection is now being put up for auction, according to Bruun’s will.

Bruun’s coin collection actually consists of several collections, and the National Museum has a preemptive right to a number of specifically described coins from one of these collections – the one that Lars Emil Bruun purchased in 1922, a year before his death, from the Danish Count Preben Bille-Brahe, and which at the time was described as “the most significant collection of Danish and Norwegian coins.”

According to the purchase contract, Bruun committed to give the Royal Coin and Medal Collection a preemptive right to types of coins from the Bille-Brahe collection that were not already in the National Museum. So it’s seven coins from this collection that the National Museum has acquired.

There are currently no plans to exhibit the newly acquired coins, according to the National Museum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *