Author Topic: Hamburg: The Napoleonic Silver Treasure  (Read 727 times)

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Offline chrisild

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Hamburg: The Napoleonic Silver Treasure
« on: May 06, 2014, 07:27:35 PM »
200 years ago the French rule in Hamburg ended - and that is an occasion for the city's Archaeological Museum to show a treasure that was hidden in those days. The exhibition opens tomorrow (7 May) and can be seen until mid-September. More information in German is here:

The title "Napoleons Silberschatz" may be a little confusing. After all, this is not Napoleon's treasure, but one that somebody hid when the French troops were in the city. The find consists of about 8,800 silver coins - mostly taler, schilling and pfennig pieces from the late 17th century until the late 18th/early 19th century. This is the biggest coin treasure find ever made in Hamburg. And many of the pieces can now be seen.

The treasure was found in April 1993, when a construction site in Hamburg was checked for explosives. (This is almost a routine procedure; in the state where I live, for example, about 700 WW2 bombs were found last year alone.) At a certain point, the metal detectors went off - but instead of a bomb, they found parts of a wooden bucket, with cloth bags that were full of coins. Total weight about 24 kg ...

Of course the pieces were dirty and corroded, so it took a long time to restore and identify them. Now you can see many of them in that exhibition which tries to show them in a context: What could have been the circumstances, what were the "French years" in and around Hamburg like, what could such a treasure buy today? And when you see it that way, the exhibition title makes somewhat more sense. :)


Offline THCoins

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Re: Hamburg: The Napoleonic Silver Treasure
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 09:25:34 PM »
When i renovated our old house in the historic centre of Amsterdam all i found between the foundation was a 1922 cent  :-\
Thanks for the write-up.  I will be passing Hamburg going to Kiel next month. Might be an interesting exposition to take a small detour !