Capitoline Coin and Medal Collection
The museum itinerary has been enriched by the addition of a section dedicated to the Capitoline Coin and Medal Collection, to be situated in Palazzo Clementino-Caffarelli, and featuring the exhibition of a fine array of coins, medals and ancient jems which until now have not been shown to the public.
The Capitoline Coin Cabinet was established in 1872 following Ludovico Stanzani's bequest of coins and precious gems and includes collections of coins, medals, glyptics and jewellery belonging to the Municipality.
Augusto Castellani, a member of the famous Roman family of goldsmiths who was appointed director of the Capitoline Museums since 1873, generously donated many thousands of coins from the area around Rome and proposed setting up a new sector of the museum to house the Stanzani bequest and add to the numismatic collection the numerous specimens of antique coins discovered underground in Rome.
The Capitoline numismatic department was subsequently extended by a collection of 456 Roman and Byzantine gold coins previously belonging to the marquis Giampietro Campana, and by Giulio Bignami's important collection of Roman Republican coins.
Following the demolition of certain districts and excavations carried out by the Governorship, the Capitoline Coin Cabinet was increased by numerous minor donations, extremely representative of different periods.
During demolition work for the building of the Via dei Fori Imperiali in 1933, the fortuitous discovery of the so-called treasure of Via Alessandrina, consisting of 17 kilos of gold in coins and jewellery, aroused great interest. The treasure was only included in the Capitoline collections in 1942, after a long legal dispute with the workers who discovered it and the heirs of the antique dealer who hid the treasure.
Recent additions have come from donations and the acquisition of rare series, including a medal of great importance for the history of the Capitoline collections and mintages of coins effected by illustrious members of the Roman Senate.
The periodic coinages issued by the City of Rome every year since 1964 to mark the date of April 21st, the founding of Rome, also deserve a special rnention.
The latest acquisition is a series of red sulphur casts, dating back to the second half of the 18th century, of the engraved cameos and gems belonging to the Boncompagni Ludovisi collection and donated by the Friends of the Museums of Rome in 1994.