Featured Coins at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nerva, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    I visited the Israel Museum on a recent vacation. There are two rooms dedicated to coins, as well as lots of smaller displays integrated into their fabulous antiquities collection. It shows coins in context, rather than showing the history of coinage in its own terms.
    First was a room of Roman gold coins from the Victor Adda collection. He was an Egyptian cotton merchant who lived 1885-1965. His daughters inherited his collection, and much of it was sold in the 1980s. This display is of coins promised to the Israel Museum by his daughter. They're presented in a small, circular room with big reproductions of gold coins above the cabinets. Here's the Nerva enlargement:
    IMG_1698.JPG And here are some of the displays: IMG_1699.JPG IMG_1695.JPG IMG_1694.JPG

    In the main exhibition galleries I was struck by a hoard of silver from the 8th-7th century BC, just before the first coins, found at En Gedi on the Dead Sea. Interesting how many of the fragments look like coin flans. You can see how it was just a small step to start marking them to certify value.
    There was a nice selection of the famous 'Judaea Capta' coins, issued by Vespasian to commemorate the suppression of the Jewish revolt and destruction of the second temple in 70AD. The most interesting was the loan of a unique aureus with the legend 'Iudea Recepta', or 'recaptured', because it had previously been a Roman province. They assume that this was the first version, changed because they didn't like the reference to the humiliating loss of the province during the revolt. It's on loan from Dr David and Jemima Jeselsohn of Zurich, shown alongside a nice Colosseum sestertius.
    IMG_1754 (2).JPG
    The other room dedicated to coins gave an overview of coinage from earliest times to modern Israel. Unfortunately the lighting was bad and the coins were hard to see in the cases, so I couldn't get usable pictures. Here's the room, to give you a taste:
    And here are some artistic highlights from ancient Greece:
    IMG_1744.JPG IMG_1745.JPG
    The second picture shows TWO decadrachms, to display both sides. I like that most of the coins in the first picture are actually quite affordable. Nice to see things similar to those in my own collection on display.

    I spent a full day at the museum, and there's loads to see besides coins. Warmly recommended if you get a chance to visit.
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  3. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Working like crazy to pay for the lazy Supporter

    What a great post, and THANK YOU!! I have plans to visit Israel this year, and this is something that's definitely on the list to do.
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  4. lrbguy

    lrbguy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update! I was on an excavation in Ashkelon in 1987 and we spent weekends in Jerusalem. The museum got attention, of course, and they did have coins on display, but I don't recall anything like this back then. Too bad I haven't been able to return since then, because this looks like a worthwhile thing to see - although I am not partial to gold coins. As always, it all depends on context.
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  5. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Great pics! The silver is a great collection. I like the ear-rings which was a way to wear your wealth.
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  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

    Fantastic coins! I'd love to visit. Back in 2012 l visited the national museum in Amman, Jordan where they have a great collection of Roman coins, plus petra and Wadi rum.
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    RAGNAROK Naebody chaws me wi impunity

    Thanks a lot! A must in my list.
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  8. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    I'll do another post on Tel Aviv, where there's a whole coin gallery. Massada was amazing. One of the best things I've ever seen. One visit doesn't make me an expert, but DM me if you want suggestions.
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  9. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    They've extended the museum a lot since then. Hugely impressive.
  10. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    My visit made me want to see Jordan next. I knew a reasonable amount about the history of the region, but I was bowled over by seeing it for real. Much more moving than I expected.
  11. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    What a fantastic trip you had. And the coins I'm sure where a delight.
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  12. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Working like crazy to pay for the lazy Supporter

    Thank you! My Uncle was living in yeshiva when he passed away. My Father went to the Memorial, but i wasn't able to get away at the time. He was able to stay in the Old Jewish Quarter and got a tour that most visitors don't get to see (my Uncle was somewhat of a "rock star" in the Yeshiva).
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  13. Mike Margolis

    Mike Margolis Well-Known Member

    Did they have one of these- the great numismatic mystery? I still believe that it is not a Judaea Capta. On the contrary the vertical placement of JUDAEUS where the name of "ALEXANDER" was for centuries on his coins is not a subservient placement. Maybe that doesn't matter but figuring it would? Still just questions? coinboughtcybeleromeudaeusbacchius.jpg
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    RAGNAROK Naebody chaws me wi impunity

    A good analysis in ACADEMIA: Gambash, G., Gitler, H., and Cotton, H. M. (2013), ‘Iudaea Recepta,’ Israel Numismatic Research 8: 89-104.
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  15. Mike Margolis

    Mike Margolis Well-Known Member

    Thanks, will check it out.
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  16. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    Not on display. It was a small group of coins and they were illustrating the history rather than the numismatics, but I think it's a shame they didn't feature this story. Interesting question of how to interpret numismatic evidence.
  17. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    What's up with that Nerva? o_O It looks like it's made of plasticine...
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  18. Nerva

    Nerva Well-Known Member

    I think it is! The large reporductions were BAD.
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    RAGNAROK Naebody chaws me wi impunity

    OREO mint? :hilarious:
  20. alk1129

    alk1129 Member

    Thank you for the post and the pictures!
  21. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

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