Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

The Passignano coin collection and its fate

Sep 16, 2022, 2:40 PM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall A

Auditorium Maximum - Hall A


Andrew Burnett (British Museum)


The Florentine painter, Domenico Cresti detto il Passignano (1559-1638) formed a collection of 112 gold and 700-800 silver Roman coins. We know about it from a series of letters, written in 1647-50, when Passignano’s heirs tried to sell the collection to the young Nicolaas Heinsius. Heinsius wanted only the silver coins, however, and the gold specimens were offered, via Johannes Smetius in Nijmegen, to Simonds D’Ewes in England, before eventually being offered to Queen Christina. These letters illustrate an example of the international nature of the coin network at the time (even including England during the English Civil War). The few details we have about the collection also show that it included a series of false gold coins of rare Roman empresses, otherwise unknown today.

Primary author

Andrew Burnett (British Museum)

Presentation materials

There are no materials yet.