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Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

East Cliff




tel: +44 (0)1202 451848




email: [email protected]



Contact details: Duncan Walker; Helen Ivaldi


Date of visit: 13 July 2016


Nature and extent of collection


2,147 pieces. This collection contains coins and other forms of currency (from Polynesian money beads to modern banknotes) from around the world, but the majority of it comes from Britain. It includes coins recovered from archaeological sites and ranges in date from pre-Roman times to decimalisation. The foreign currency in this collection mainly dates from the 20th century. The medals in this collection include military and commemorative issues and date mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries. The commemorative medals mark both local and national events. The collection also contains trade tokens from Dorset and the surrounding area. These pre-date the establishment of Bournemouth.


All numbers below are estimated


Greek coins: 99

Iron Age coins: 26

Roman coins: 217

British coins: 312

British tokens: 294

European coins: 153

Asian coins: 63

Middle Eastern coins: None but coins are incorporated into a Palestinian headdress.

African coins: 50

American coins: 1

Oceania: 12

Modern and paper money: 312

Medals (commemorative or military): 222


Specific strengths: World cultures currency especially Chinese. First World War German propaganda medals and post-1918 emergency currency. Local trade tokens (Dorset/Hampshire).


Library: Fewer than 20 volumes, with specific strengths in British coinage. We have a general library of books relating to all of the collections, some of which touch on numismatics. Within this wider library there are also a number of books on coins, medals and tokens but they are rather old.





Database used: Modes Complete.


Proportion of collection on database: 100%


How much detail in database entries? It varies. Some records contain very sparse information but we are working to produce fuller, SPECTRUM compliant, records.


Are images incorporated? Yes, but only in a handful of cases.


Is the database accessible to the public? No.


Is the database publicly accessible online? No.





Are there permanent numismatic displays? No.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes.


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? No – not for at least a decade.



Access to the collection


Is there a study facility? Yes.


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? Magnifying glasses can be provided, yes.



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? No.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? No.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Occasionally.


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? No.



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Yes.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? No.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? No.


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? N/A