Pomeranian Cabinet. In the mirror of coins, banknotes and stamps

„Pomeranian Cabinet…” is a new permanent exhibition of the Department of Numismatics collection, which presents the history of Pomeranian coins, banknotes and stamps. Its content is both the rule of Griffin dynasty and the rule of Swedish and Prussian kings, Brandenburg electors and German emperors.

These small discs apart of its main function of means of exchange or means of document authentication, are a group which is very rich in visual layer. Today, when they had lost their practical meaning, they are the witnesses of past events and ideas – the mirror of Pomeranian history.

The exposition is divided into three parts. In the first room you can find Pomeranian seals functioning in cities between 14th and 19th centuries. These are objects that belonged to local governments and craft guilds. The images of the seals are related to economic, social, political and religious life of the city. Presented material is divided into thematic groups which allow to pick the most popular symbols and to follow the dominant issues in seals images. The seals are accompanied by other relics which revive particular motives and place them in environment that is contemporary to the seals and their creators.

In the second room you can learn about little-known episode of Western Pomeranian history, that is, the emission of the substitute money during the I World War and inflation. The war outbreak and problems caused by lack of coins led to the issue of substitute money in the form of vouchers, so called “notgelds”, by unauthorized local governments and self-employed people. Between 1917 and 1920 there appeared also coins that differed from official money by material, shape, size and ornaments. Coins were mostly made from zinc and iron and given  specific shapes; vouchers were printed in unusual dimensions. Large part of “notgelds” issued after 1920 is now a very important iconography source due to its rich and wide variety of topics.

The third room presents the role of the coin as a medium of information. The image of Pomeranian coinage consists of the emission of rulers, cities and bishops of Kamień Pomorski. However, the exhibition focuses on the iconography it also shows the history of coin in Pomerania between 12th and 19th centuries. The beginning of this path are the two-sided denars minted in 12th century by the dukes of Szczecin and Dymin lines. The medieval coinage was dominated by the city issue and bishops issue with iconography related to the sacred and the profane spheres. The modern period is full of dukes’ issues consolidating signs known from centuries. When the Griffin dynasty expired in 1637 the Duchy was divided into two currency areas. Its eastern part was strongly linked to Brandenburg and incorporated into the new monetary system. Opened in 1689, mint in Stargard minted coins in Brandenburg monetary system. In the western part Swedish rulers continued Pomeranian coinage with existing iconography and titles. Last Pomeranian issues were made in 1808 in Stralsund.

In the same room there are two treasures of Pomeranian coins: late medieval from Pyrzyce and modern from Choszczno. Those are the biggest deposists (about 5500 coins) from more than thirty collected in the Department of Numismatics. Both were discovered by coincidence during excavations and survived largely complete along the fragments of pottery.

Place: The National Museum in Szczecin — The Museum of Regional Traditions, Staromłyńska 27 Str.
Opening: 4.02.2016
Exhibition curator: Genowefa Horoszko
Partner: Polish National Bank

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