Collections of Oriental Coins in Germany

Stefan Heidemann

[published in: Oriental Numismatic Society - Newsletter 179 (Spring 2004), p. 5-9, updated by Simon Gundelfinger - June 2012]

Bild OMJ Gold

Islamic coins are designed to be objects of art but at the same time they are textual documents with political and religious formulae. Their design is influenced by a wholly different set of conditions which plays no role in the design of other objects of Islamic art: the currency system, their legal validity according to Islamic law, conservative cultural expectations towards the design of money which influenced their acceptance, the respective technical procedures of a mass product, manufactured on the principle of the division of labour, the political message as well as the administrative structures which lay behind all these factors. Classical Islamic law saw gold and silver coins as absolute equivalents, meaning legal money. Copper coins were only money under certain conditions. They had a different, variously defined, juridical position in the currency systems as tokens. This special status allowed for greater freedom in the design of copper coins than was permitted with precious metal coins.

Islamic coins are characterised above all as the bearers of texts of up to 150 words. The inscriptions on the coins struck during the first six and a half centuries of Islam - a period for which we have, with few exceptions, no other primary historical documents - often mention from three to five names, providing the names and titles of the whole hierarchy of power - from the local governor up to the caliph. They usually state the town where the coin was minted, sometimes more precisely the quarter, then the year of minting, sometimes even noting the month and the day. Religious legends give hints of the political orientation of the ruler. In Islamic history the inclusion of the name of the ruler in the coin protocol and in the Friday prayers served as proof that he actually ruled. They had an identical juridical and political value. Mention in the Friday prayers, however, was purely verbal, on coins the protocol can be found permanently stored on a metal object that was frequently reproduced. Islamic copper coins could also offer a wealth of images of mythical creatures, humans, flora and fauna which are still not fully understood.

The Period of the Theology of the Enlightenment

After a centuries of mere curiosity on Oriental coins appearing in collections from the time of the renaissance, Islamic numismatics started as an offspring of theology in the eighteenth century. In 1724, the orientalist Georg Jacob Kehr (1692 - 1740) from Leipzig wrote the first monograph on Islamic numismatics which described a hoard of Islamic coins found near Gdansk. Richard Ettinghausen regarded this monograph as marking the beginning of Islamic archaeology (Ettinghausen, R.: Islamic Art and Archeology. In: T. Cuyler Young (ed.): Near Eastern Culture and Society, Princeton 1951, 17-47, esp. 21). By the end of the 18th century, in the period of the theology of the Enlightenment, a scientific discourse had come into being in Germany conducted by Protestant theologians who were both interested in historical matters and able to read Arabic. Their interest was often initially aroused by Islamic coins found in their native regions, usually around the Baltic Sea. These dated mainly from the tenth century, a period when the Vikings had established trade contacts with the core lands of the Islamic empire and then with Central Asia.

The first specialised collections were also formed in the time of the theology of the Enlightenment. In 1794, the theologian and orientalist Oluf Gerhard Tychsen (1734 - 1815) of Rostock published his Introductio in rem numariam muhammedanorum, the first scholarly manual of Islamic numismatics. Tychsen's collection is still part of the university collection in Rostock. His colleague in Göttingen, Thomas Christian Tychsen (1758 - 1834), was able to build up the Oriental holdings of the university collections with the assistance of generous patrons, in particular alumni living in imperial Russia.

The Era of Philology of Oriental Languages

In Germany, the second and third decades of the nineteenth century saw a new kind of Oriental scholarship emerge, emancipating itself from theological studies. A generation of young scholars fostered this change. Most had studied at the École speciale de langues orientales vivantes in Paris with Antoine Isaac Silvestre de Sacy (1758 - 1838). He established Oriental studies as the philology of Oriental languages and liberated these studies from their previous spiritual and institutional dependence on theology. From now on, the major task of Oriental philology was seen as the collection of textual sources of all kinds, not only manuscripts, but also papyri, inscriptions and coins. Many of the students of Silvestre de Sacy included numismatic studies among their publications.

In 1840 one of his students, Johann Gustav Stickel (1805 - 1896), was able to found the Grand-Ducal Oriental Coin Cabinet in Jena with the financial support of the Grand-Ducal house in Weimar. He served as its director and as Professor for Near Eastern Languages in Jena up to his death. At this time, the Grand-Ducal Oriental Coin Cabinet was the only specialised research institution of its kind. The eighteen forties and fifties in Germany saw the climax of academic research on numismatic sources within the scope of Oriental studies, measured by the number of authors and articles appearing in the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, the monographs published and the private collections formed.

In the eighteen sixties and the seventies Islamic numismatics stagnated and interest in the field began to decrease as the generation of students of Silvestre de Sacy in Germany were replaced by younger scholars. From the sixties onwards the collections formed by the older generation of orientalists entered universities and public coin cabinets. For example, in 1866 the collection of Frédéric Soret (1795 - 1865) came to Jena, in 1867 the collection of Ernst Meier (1811 - 1866) to the University of Tübingen, in 1873 - after detours - the collection of Otto Blau (1826 - 1879) to the university library in Leipzig, in 1888 that of Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer (1801 - 1888) to the library of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft in Halle.

A New Collection in Berlin and the End of Islamic Numismatics after WWI

In 1877 the collection of the British officer Seton Guthrie of about 15,000 specimens was the new starting point for the development of the Oriental holdings in the Royal Coin Cabinet in Berlin. The young orientalist Adolph Erman (1854 - 1937) was hired for this task. He was the first who invented the ordering of a collection according to mint and dates instead of the order by dynasties, but for him the coin cabinet was only one stop in his career to a professorship of Egyptology, which he obtained in 1883. In spite of the considerably enlarged material base, Islamic numismatics in Germany did not make a new start. In 1896 with the death of Johann Gustav Stickel, studies on Oriental coins at German universities came to an end for nearly a century. Erman's successor in Berlin, Stickel's student Heinrich Nützel (1863 - 1934), ceased publishing after the First World War. This was also the end of Oriental numismatics in public coin collections for the time being.

Oriental Collections Between Philology and Numismatics

Since the middle of the nineteenth century the humanities had diversified more and more, to the disadvantage of the Islamic numismatics. On the numismatic side the linguistic competence to put the information into its proper historical context was absent and knowledge of numismatic methods was lacking on the part of orientalists. Only a few orientalists at the end of the 19th century still worked with numismatic sources.

For this reason attempts to revive Islamic numismatics after the Second World War by numismatic institutions in the former Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic failed. In 1949 the acquisition of the above mentioned collection of Frédéric Soret (4,010 specimens) by the Bavarian State Collection in Munich might have allowed a fresh start. Being originally only a loan of the Grand-Ducal house, Soret's collection had been returned to it by the University of Jena in 1939. In 1969 the person in charge for the Oriental collection at Munich, the classical archaeologist and art historian Peter Jaeckel (1914 - 1996), was promoted to be the director of the Army Museum in Ingolstadt. Work on the Oriental part in Munich stopped.

The Revival of Islamic Numismatics in Germany

The revival of Islamic numismatics in Germany as an academic subject came about on the initiative of the Oriental institutes of the universities. Now, due to a new self-definition as an interdisciplinary regional subject, historical Islamic studies were in search of new research tools. In 1990 a research unit for Islamic numismatics was founded at the University of Tübingen. An American private collection of about 30,000 specimens was purchased by the Volkswagen Stiftung as a base. In 1994 the chair of Semitic Philology and Islamic Studies was established at the University of Jena after a vacancy of 75 years. Since then, the former Grand-Ducal Oriental Coin Cabinet has been reconstituted and made available for study. Both collections have since almost doubled in number and quality - Tübingen about 65,000 and Jena about 15,000 coins - in each case with the support of an active circle of private patrons and sponsors. In spite of the renewed importance of Islamic numismatics not only for historical research, but also for art history and archaeology, no other German Islamic coin collections are now curated by an orientalist. Efforts were made, however, by Tübingen and Jena to survey other medium-sized Oriental collections from the 19th century and to make them again accessible for researchers.

The Material Base

The material base of Islamic numismatics has multiplied substantially world wide in the last quarter of the last century. In Germany alone, 135,400 Oriental coins at least are available for study in public collections, including 30,600 Indian coins and in addition at least 24,600 East Asian coins. Today Islamic numismatics is in the position of possessing a rich supply of material evidence from many places and periods of the Islamic world which can be "read" parallel to the historical tradition and be "seen" parallel to the development of Islamic art. Due to the ambivalent nature of coins both being textual documents as well as miniature works of art there is no permanent exhibition of Islamic coins in Germany. As in any archive, the visitor usually has to make an appointment to see the coins on a one to one basis.

General Literature

Heidemann, Stefan: Islamische Numismatik in Deutschland. In: Heidemann, Stefan (ed.) 2000: Islamische Numismatik in Deutschland - eine Bestandsaufnahme (Jenaer Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient 2), Wiesbaden 2000. (cited below as Heidemann 2000).

Heidemann, Stefan, Die Entwicklung der Methoden in der Islamischen Numismatik im 18. Jahrhundert - War Johann Jacob Reiske ihr Begründer? (The Development of Methods in Islamic Numismatics in the 18th Century. Was Johann Jacob Reiske its Founder?). In: Hans-Georg Ebert - Thoralf Hanstein (eds.): Johann Jacob Reiske: Persönlichkeit und Wirkung (Beiträge zur Leipziger Universitäts- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte 7), Leipzig 2005, p. 147-202.

Heidemann, Stefan, Eine kurze Geschichte der Sammlungen orientalischer Münzen in Deutschland (A Brief History of the Collections of Oriental Coins in Germany). In: Numismatisches Nachrichtenblatt Jg. 55 (December 2006), p. 517-526.

Mayer, Leo Ari: Bibliography of Moslem Numismatics India Excepted (Oriental Translation Fund 35), 2nd revised edition, London 1954.


The informations are collected from the literature and by direct inquiries at the respective institutions about their Islamic Oriental holdings. Due to the specific organisation of each collection sometimes Indian and East Asian coins are included, sometimes are not. Only where additional informations about East Asian coins were available, these were given as well. The literature is by no means complete, but an introduction into the coin collections and their Oriental holdings.


Cat.: Catalogues of at least a significant part of the Oriental coins within the collections.

Lit.: Monographs or articles about the history of the collection either in general - containing some informations about the Oriental coins - or - if available - in particular about the Oriental holdings.

ZDMG: Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft.

Collections with more than 10,000 Oriental coins

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz - Münzkabinett

director: Prof. Dr. Bernd Kluge
Bodestrasse 1-3, D-10178 Berlin
phone and fax: +49 (30) 20905701, 20905702 (fax)
e-mail: mk [at]

ca. 20,000 Islamic, 10,000 Indian, 5,000 East Asian coins. It includes the collection of Peter Philipp Adler (1726 - 1814), Heinrich Friedrich von Diez (1751 - 1817), Georg Bühler (1837 - 1898; 1,233 Indian coins), Seton Guthrie (bought in 1876; 15,000 coins, mostly Indian), Andreas David Mordtmann der Ältere (1811 - 1879), Eduard Glaser (1855-1908; 14 Himyarite and 85 Arabic mostly Rasulid coins, acquired 1886) and a part of the almost lost Oriental coins from the Coin Cabinet in Gotha (acquired in 1935; 60 coins, see below). Substantial in number are 10,000 Abbasid coins from the Babylon hoard (tpq 204/819-20) excavated by Richard Koldewey which entered the collection in 1926.


Friedländer, Julius - Sallet, Alfred von: Das königliche Münzkabinet. Geschichte und Übersicht der Sammlung nebst erklärender Beschreibung der auf Schautischen ausgelegten Auswahl, 2nd revised edition, Berlin 1877.

Kluge, Bernd: Das Münzkabinett - Museum und Wissenschaftsinstitut (Das Kabinett 9), Berlin 2004.


Nützel, Heinrich: Katalog der orientalischen Münzen 1. Die Münzen der östlichen Kalifen, Berlin 1898.

-, Katalog der orientalischen Münzen 2. Die Münzen der muslimischen Dynastien Spaniens und des westlichen Nordafrika, Berlin 1902.

-, Münzen der Rasuliden nebst einem Abriss der Geschichte dieser jemenischen Dynastie, Berlin 1891. [most of the coins are from Eduard Glaser (1905 - 1908) acquired during his Yemen expeditions. Eight of these coins entered the Oriental Coin Cabinet in Jena]. Reprint and Translation: Coins of the Rasulids Comprising a Synopsis of the History of that Yemenite Dynasty, Mainz 1987.

Pertsch, Wilhelm: Bericht über eine Sammlung indischer Münzen. In: ZDMG 25 (1871) 605-617, 2 plates. [collection Georg Bühler].

Simon, Hermann: Die sasanidischen Münzen des Fundes von Babylon. Ein Teil des bei Koldeweys Ausgrabungen im Jahr 1900 gefundenen Münzschatzes. In: Acta Iranica 12 (Textes et Mémoires 5, Varia 1976), Leiden 1977, 149-337.

Orientalisches Münzkabinett der Universität Jena

director: Prof. Dr. Norbert Nebes
collection management: Dr. Babett Forster
advisory coordination: Prof. Dr. Stefan Heidemann
Löbdergraben 24a, D-07743 Jena
phone and fax: +49 (3641) 944850, 944852 (fax)
e-mail: Norbert.Nebes [at], x7hest [at]

ca. 21,000 Islamic, 1,100 East Asian coins. It includes the collection Heinrich August Zwick (1796 - 1855; 1,500 coins), a selection of the collection von Sprewitz (bought 1846; 175 coins); Justin Sabatier (bought 1852; 728 coins), August Otto Rühle von Lilienstern (1780 - 1847; 870 coins), part of the collection of Frédéric Soret (1795 - 1865; ca. 1,000 coins, see also Bavarian State Collection, Munich), Heinrich von Siebold (1852 - 1908; 343 East Asian coins and amuletts), Peter Jaeckel (1914 - 1996; 1,200 coins) and Christof Baum (donated 2003; 307 Yemenite coins).


Heidemann, Stefan: Orientalistik und Orientalische Numismatik in Jena. In: Heidemann (2000) 87-106.

-, Bibliothek des Großherzoglichen Orientalischen Münzkabinetts. In: Fried­hilde Krause (general ed.) - Felicitas Marwinski (ed.): Handbuch der Hi­storischen Buchbestände in Deutschland 20. Thüringen H-R, Hildesheim, Zürich, New York 1999, 162-163.

-, Jemenitische Münzen in Jena. Zur Erforschung der jemeni­tischen Münzprägung (Yemenite Coins in Jena. About the Study of Yemenite Coinage). In: Jemen-Report. Mitteilungen der Deutsch-Jemenitische Gesellschaft e.V. vol. 35, no. 2, p. 4-6.

-, Maria Pawlowna und der Umbruch in der Orientalistik - Die Gründung des Großherzoglichen Orientalischen Münzkabinetts. (Maria Pavlovna and the Philological Turn in Middle Eastern Studies - The Foundation of the Grand-Ducal Oriental Coin Cabinet). In: Joachim Berger - Joachim von Puttkamer (eds.): Von Petersburg nach Weimar. Kulturelle Transfers von 1800 bis 1860 (Jenaer Beiträge zur Geschichte 9), Frankfurt a/M, 2006 pp. 221-259.

-, Das Orientalische Münzkabinett Jena - Die Islamische Münzkunde von der Theologie der Aufklärung zu den Regionalstudien (The Oriental Coin Cabnet in Jena - Islamic Numismatics from the Period of the Theology of Enlightenment to the Regional Studies). In: Gesellschaft der Freunde Islamischer Kunst und Kultur (ed.): Eothen IV, Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft der Freunde Islamischer Kunst und Kultur e.V., Munich 2007, pp.  95-120.

Vollers, Karl: Das orientalische Münzkabinett der Universität Jena im Jahre 1906. In: Blätter für Münzfreunde 41/6 (1906), cols 3515-3524, 41/7-8 (1906), cols 3529-3537.


Heidemann, Stefan - Sode, Claudia: Christlich-orientalische Bleisiegel im Orien­talischen Münz­kabinett Jena. In: Aram 11-12 (1999-2000) 533-593.

Mayer, Tobias: Sylloge der Münzen des Kaukasus und Osteuropa im Orientalischen Münzkabinett Jena (Orientalisches Münzkabinett Jena 1), Wiesbaden 2005.

Stickel, Johann Gustav: Handbuch zur morgenländischen Münzkunde. Das grossherzogliche orientalische Münzcabinet zu Jena, Erstes Heft, Omajjaden- und Abbasiden-Münzen, Leipzig 1845.

-, Handbuch zur Orientalischen Münzkunde. Das grossherzogliche orientalische Münzcabinet zu Jena. Zweites Heft, älteste Muhammedanische Münzen bis zur Münzreform des Abdulmelik's, Leipzig 1870.

-, Handbuch der morgenländischen Münzkunde, Leipzig 1975. [reprint of the parts of 1845 and 1870].

Forschungsstelle für Islamische Numismatik der Universität Tübingen

director: Dr. Lutz Ilisch
Wilhelmstrasse 26, D-72074 Tübingen
phone and fax : +49 (7071)  2975208, 295387 (fax)
e-mail: lutz.ilisch [at]

ca. 65,000 Oriental Coins, including 12,600 Indian coins. It includes the collection of Ernst Meier (1811 - 1866; 700 coins), Stephen Album (bought 1988; ca. 30,000 coins), Lutz Ilisch (7,000 coins), Jean-Louis Thau (bought 1996; 2,371 coins) and a part of the collection Hans Herrli (3,200 coins).


Ilisch, Lutz: Silber des Kalifen auf dem Hippie-Trail. In: Tübinger Blätter (1992-3) 71-75.

-, Die Tübinger Sammlung Orientalischer Münzen. In: Stefan Heidemann (2000) 129-137.


Fedorov, Michael - Kochnev, Boris: Sylloge Numorum Arabicorum Tübingen. Mittelasien, XV a, Buhārā, Samarqand, Berlin 2008.

Ilisch, Lutz: Sylloge Numorum Arabicorum Tübingen. Palästina, IVa Bilad as-Sam I, Tübingen 1993.

Korn, Lorenz: Sylloge Numorum Arabicorum Tübingen. Hamah, IVc Bilad as-Sam III, Berlin 1998.

Mayer, Tobias: Sylloge Numorum Arabicorum Tübingen. Nord- und Ostzentralasien, XVb Mittelasien II, Tübingen, Berlin 1998.

Ramaḍān, ʿĀṭif Manṣūr [Atef Mansour M. Ramadan], Sylloge Numorum Arabicorum Tübingen, Naysābūr, Sabzawār und die Münzstätten in Ǧuwayn, XIVa Ḫurāsān 1, Tübingen Berlin, 2012.

Schwarz, Florian: Sylloge Numorum Arabicorum Tübingen. Gazna/Kabul, XIV d Hurasan IV, Tübingen, Berlin 1995.

-, Sylloge Numorum Arabicorum Tübingen. Balh und die Landschaften am oberen Oxus, XIV c Hurasan III, Tübingen, Berlin 2002.

Collections between 5,000 and 10,000 Oriental coins

Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr

as part of the Köhler-Osbahr-Stiftung zur Förderung von Kunst und Wissenschaft im Kultur- und Stadthistorischen Museum Duisburg

deputy director: Ralf H. Althoff M.A.
Johannes-Corputius-Platz 1, D-47051 Duisburg
tel. and fax: +49 (203) 2832647, 2835680 (fax)
e-mail: r.althoff [at]

ca. 1,250 Islamic, 6,000 Indian, 17,300 East Asian coins

Lit.: Garver, Cornelia (ed.): Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr I. Auswahlkatalog, Duisburg 1990. [general description of the collection which includes African Asian and European art].


Althoff, Ralf: Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr II/1. Vormünzliche Zahlungsmittel und außergewöhnliche Geldformen aus China, Annam, Korea und Japan, Duisburg 1993.

-, Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr II/2. Vormünzliche Zahlungsmittel und außergewöhnliche Geldformen aus Südostasien, Afrika und anderen Teilen der Welt, Duisburg 1993.

-, Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr II/3. Vormünzliche Zahlungsmittel und außergewöhnliche Geldformen, Siamesische Porzellantoken - Collection Köhler-Osbahr II/3. Primitive Currency and Extraordinary Kind of Money, Siamese Porcelain-Tokens, Duisburg 1995.

Althoff, Ralf - Mayer, Tobias: Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr V/3. Byzantinische Münzen und ihr Umfeld. Orientalische Münzen, Münzen der Kreuzfahrer und -staaten sowie der europäischen Nachbarn, Duisburg 2000.

Staatliche Münzsammlung München

director: Dr. Dietrich O. A. Klose
Residenzstrasse 1, D-80333 Munich
phone and fax: +49 (89) 227221, 299859 (fax)
e-mail: info [at]

ca. 8,000 Oriental coins. It includes the collection Frédéric Soret (1795 - 1865; 4,010 coins, see also Oriental Coin Cabinet Jena) and Egon Beckenbauer (1913 - 1999; ca. 3,500).


Heidemann, Stefan: Obituary, Peter Jaeckel (1914-1996). In: Oriental Numismatic Society News­letter 152 (1997) 1-2.

Heß, Wolfgang - Küthmann, Harald - Overbeck, Bernhard - Szeiklies-Weber, Ingrid: Vom Königlichen Kabinett zur Staatssammlung. Ausstellung zur Geschichte der Staatlichen Münzsammlung München 7. 10. 1982 bis 9. 1. 1983, München 1982. [general history of the collection without reference to the Oriental part].

Jaeckel, Peter: Staatliche Münzsammlung, Orient. In: Münchner Jahrbuch der Bildenden Kunst 3. Folge 2 (1951) 253-254. [collection Frédéric Soret].


Many coins were published in various arcticles by Frédéric Soret, see his bibliography in Édouard Favre, Les études orientales à la Société d‘histoire et d‘archéologie de Genève 1838-1894, Genf 1894, as well Mayer (1954) 214-219 sub Soret.

Collections between 1,000 and 5,000 Oriental coins

Münzsammlung - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

director: Dr. Rainer Grund
Residenzschloss, Georgenbau, Taschenberg 2, D-01067 Dresden
phone and fax: +49 (351) 49143231 / 49143233 (fax)
e-mail: mk [at]

ca. 2,100 Islamic and Indian coins. It includes the collection Moritz Steinla (1791 - 1858; 18 Oriental coins).


Arnold, Paul: Osmanische Münzen aus dem Besitz der Kurfürsten von Sachsen. In: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden/Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn (ed.): Im Lichte des Halbmonds. Das Abendland und der türkische Orient, Dresden 1995, 279-284.

-, Die Sammlung der orientalischen Münzen des Münzkabinettes Dresden. In: Heidemann (2000) 17-26.


Krehl, Ludolf: De numis muhammedanis in Numophylacio Regio Dresdeni asservatis Commentatio, Leipzig 1856.

-, Ueber einige muhammedanische Münzen des Königlichen Münz-Cabinets zu Dresden. In: ZDMG 12 (1858) 250-263. [collection Moritz Steinla].

Archäologisches Institut und Sammlung der Gipsabgüsse der Georg August-Universität Göttingen

curator: Dr. Daniel Graepler
Nikolausberger Weg 15, D-37073 Göttingen
tel. and fax: +49 (551) 39 7502, 39 7497; +49 (551) 3922062 (fax)
e-mail: dgraepl [at]

ca. 3,900 Oriental coins. It includes the collection Georg von Asch (1727 - 1807), Jacob Reineggs (1740 - 1794; 106 coins), Heinrich Julius Klapproth (1761 - 1830; 147 coins), Prussian collection of the University of Königsberg and Peter Bachmann (donated 1991; 2,450 coins).


Bachmann, Peter: Der neue Bestand orientalischer Münzen der Universität Göttingen. In: Heidemann (2000) 83-86.

Boehringer, Christof: Notizen zur Sammlung orientalischer Münzen der Universität Göttingen. In:  Heidemann (2000) 61-70.

Schwarz, Florian: Von der "Türkenbeute" zur wissenschaftlichen Sammlung: Ein Überblick über die orientalischen Münzen der Universität Göttingen. In: Heidemann (2000) 71-81.


Nesselmann, Georg Heinrich Ferdinand: Nummorum orientalium, qui in Nummophylacio Academio Regimontano asservantur. Definitio et Explicatio qua orationem pro loco Professoris rite obtinendo die II. Nov. anni MDCCCXLVI h.l.q.c., Königsberg 1846.

-, Die orientalischen Münzen des academischen Münzcabinets in Königsberg, Leipzig 1858.

Thomas Christian Tychsen published several articles about Oriental coin in Göttingen, see the bibliography in Boehringer (2000) 66 and Mayer (1954) 240-241.

Collection of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft in Halle

director of the library of the DMG: Laila Guhlmann
Mühlweg 15, D-06114 Halle
phone and fax : +49 (345) 5522043 / 5527320 (fax)
e-mail: guhlmann [at]

ca. 1,100 Oriental coins. It includes the collection of Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer (1801 - 1888).

Lit. and Cat.:

Blau, Otto. In: ZDMG 13 (1859) 339-342; ZDMG 16 (1862) 606; ZDMG 18 (1864) 394.

Erman, Adolf: III. Münzen. In: Katalog der Bibliothek der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft II. Handschriften, Inschriften, Münzen, Verschiedenes, Leipzig 1881, 55-81.

Pertsch, Wilhelm: Verzeichnis der aus Fleischer's Nachlass der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft überkommenen Münzen. In: ZDMG 45 (1891) 292-294. [collection Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer].

Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum - Münzkabinett

director: Dr. Reiner Cunz
Willy-Brandt-Allee 5, D-30169 Hannover
phone: +49 (0511) 9807 822
e-mail: reiner.cunz [at]

ca. 2,000 Oriental coins, mostly Indian and East Asian copper coins. These were part of the huge collection of Hermann Förster, Leipzig (d. 1905; which included the copper coin collection of Wilhelm Freudenthal, Braunschweig [d. 1883]).


Cunz, Reiner: Übersicht zur Struktur des Bestandes. In: Mitteilungen des Museumsverbundes Niedersachsen Bremen 31 (März 1987) 23-28.

-, Numismatik zwischen Haushistoriographie und fürstlicher Sammellust dargestellt am Beispiel der Geschichte des ehemaligen Königlichen Münzkabinetts zu Hannover und seiner Betreuer 1745-1945 (Numismatische Studien 11), Hamburg 1996. [general history of the collection].

Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig - Sondersammlungen

deputy director and curator: Dr. Christoph Mackert
Beethovenplatz 6, D-04107 Leipzig
phone: +49 (341) 9730509
e-mail: mackert [at]

ca. 1,300 Oriental coins, 500 East Asian coins. It includes the collection of Ferdinand von Reiboldt, Leipzig (d. about 1858) and Otto Blau, Odessa (1826 - 1879; 798 coins).


Heidemann, Stefan: The Oriental Coin Collection of the University Library in Leipzig/Saxony - An Important Collection of the 19th Century Rediscovered. In: Oriental Numis­matic Society News­letter 176 (2003) 2.

-, Die orientalischen Münzen der Universitätsbibliothek in Leipzig  - Eine Wiederentdeckung für die Forschung. In: Reiner Cunz (ed.) in Verbindung mit Rainer Polley und Andreas Röpcke: Fundamenta Historiae. Geschichte im Spiegel der Numismatik und ihrer Nachbarwissenschaften. Festschrift für Niklot Klüßendorf zum 60. Geburtstag am 10. Februar 2004 (Veröffentlichungen der urgeschichtlichen Sammlungen des Landesmuseums zu Hannover 51), Hannover 2004, 339-352.

Heidemann, Stefan - Mackert, Christoph: Staatsbulletins auf Münzen. Numismati­sche Dokumente aus dem Orient stehen nach 60 Jahren wieder der Forschung zur Verfügung. In: Journal Universität Leipzig, Heft 7 (Dezember 2003) 39-41.

Reiboldt, Ferdinand von: Kurze Uebersicht eines Münzkabinettes als Handschrift in Druck gegeben, Dresden 1844.


Blau, Otto - Stickel, Johann Gustav: Über einige muhammedanische Münzen. In: ZDMG 11 (1857) 443-459.

Krehl, Ludolf: Nachträgliche Bemerkungen zu "Blau und Stickel, über einige muhammedanische Münzen". In: ZDMG 12 (1858) 263-268.

Stickel, Johann Gustav: Über einige Muhammedanische Münzen. In: ZDMG 9 (1855) 249-255.

-, Mittheilungen über die vom Hrn. Vicekanzler Dr. Blau in Konstantinopel dem Orientalisten-Verein zu Hamburg präsentirten muhammedanischen Münzen. In: ZDMG 10 (1856) 292-301.

Die Archäologische Sammlung der Universität Rostock - Münzkabinett
director: Prof. Dr. Detlev Wannagat
Schwaansche Str. 3, D-18055 Rostock
phone and fax: +49 (381) 498 2783, 498 2787 (fax)
e-mail: detlev.wannagat [at]

ca. 1,800 Oriental Coins. It includes the collection Carolus Aurivilius (at least 18 coins), Oluf Gerhard Tychsen (1734 - 1815), Johann Georg Christian Adler (1756 - 1834; 53 coins).


Klüßendorf, Niklot: Rostock als Standort der orientalischen Numismatik. In: Heidemann (2000) 27-45.

Zimmermann, Konrad: Inventare des Rostocker Akademischen Münzkabinetts. In: Heidemann (2000) 47-59.


Frähn, Christian Martin: Summarische Übersicht des orientalischen Münzkabinettes der Universität Rostock, und Anzeige der in demselben befindlichen unedirten oder vor andern bemerkenswewerthen Stücke. [introduction] In: Bulletin scientifique publié par L'Académie Impriale des Sciences de Saint Pétersbourg 10 (1842), cols 80-90. [Catalogue] in: Bulletin de la classe des sciences historiques, Philologiques et Politiques de l'Academie Imperiale des sciences de St. Pétersbourg 1 (1842), cols 1-32. Both parts printed separately: Das Orientalische Münzkabinet der grossherzoglichen Universität Rostock, in einer skitzirten Uebersicht und mit Aushebung der Merkwürdigkeiten desselben, St. Petersburg 1842.

Collections with less than 1,000 Oriental coins

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg - Universitätsbibliothek - Handschriften und Graphische Sammlung

director: Dr. Christina Hofmann-Randall
Universitätsstrasse 4, D-91054 Erlangen
phone: +49 (9131) 8522158
e-mail: handschriften [at]

ca. 550 Oriental and 700 East Asian coins mostly from the accession in 1916 of the collection of  Friedrich Will (d. 1922).


Zwicker, Ulrich: Keltische und griechische Münzen sowie römische Provinzialprägungen aus den Sammlungen Will und Gerlach (Schriften der Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen-Nürnberg 22), Erlangen 1992, v-viii [general description of the collection and its history].


Zambaur, Eduard von: Die orientalischen Münzen der Sammlung Will in der Universitäts-Bibliothek Erlangen. In: Frankfurter Münzzeitung Neue Folge 2 (1931) 273-276, 294-296, plate 4.

Archäologisches Landesmuseum in der Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf

director: Prof. Dr. Claus von Carnap-Bornheim
Schlossinsel 1, D-24837 Schleswig
phone and fax: +49 (4621) 813309,  813 535 (fax)
e-mail: susanne.fischbach [at]

ca. 800 Oriental coins, mostly from Viking-age hoards.

Lit. and Cat.:

Wiechmann, Ralf: Edelmetalldepots der Wikinkerzeit in Schleswig-Holstein. Vom "Ringbrecher" zur Münzwirtschaft (Offa Bücher 77), Neumünster 1996.

Hamburgmuseum - Münzkabinett

curator: Dr. Ralf Wiechmann
Holstenwall 24, D-20355 Hamburg
phone and fax: +49 (40) 428132100 / 428132112 (fax)
e-mail: ralf.wiechmann [at]

several hundred Oriental coins, mostly fragments from one Polish Viking-age hoard.

Important Oriental collection which has disappeared

Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha - Münzkabinett

curator: Uta Wallenstein
Schloss Friedenstein, D-99867 Gotha
phone: +49 (3621) 823431
e-mail: wallenstein [at]

It comprised more than 600 coins until 1934. It included the collection Johann Sigismund von Haunold, Breslau (1634 - 1711), duplicates of the Asiatic Museum, St. Petersburg (bought in 1823; 147 coins), coins from the Orient-expedition of Ulrich Jasper Seetzen (1767 - 1811; about 150 coins), parts of the collection von Sprewitz, Moskau (bought in 1831). The collection disappeared after 1934, without any known record. At least sixty coins of the collection were acquired by the Coin Cabinet in Berlin in 1935 (see above).


Heidemann, Stefan: Die verschollene Gothaer Sammlung orientalischer Münzen. In: Heidemann (2000) 87-106.

Lucke, Rolf-Günther: Geschichte des Münzkabinetts Gotha, unpublished PhD diss., Halle 1968. [a comprehensive history of the collection however without any reference to the lost Oriental part].

Pick, Behrendt: Das Gothaer Münzkabinett 1712-1912. In: Gothaische Heimatblätter 8 (1912) 1-13. [general history].

Steguweit, Wolfgang: Münzkabinett Gotha. In: Commission Internationale de Numismatique (ed.): Compte Rendu 30 (1983) 40-46. [general history].


Möller, Johann Heinrich: De numis orientalibus in numophylacio Gothano asservatis commentatio prima. Numos chalifarum et dynastiarum cuficos exhibens, Gotha 1826.

-, De numis orientalibus in numophylacio Gothano asservatis commentatio altera. Numos dynastiarum recentiores exhibens, Erfurt, Gotha 1831.

Pertsch, Wilhelm: Zwei Merkwürdigkeiten der Herzoglichen Sammlungen in Gotha. Die Medaille des Awrangze;b. In: ZDMG 22 (1868) 282-285. [200-Rupi presentation coin].