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Estonia pst 11,
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An exhibition will open at Eesti Pank of coins in jewellery

07.06.2019

On Friday 7 June at 11.00, Governor of Eesti Pank Madis Müller and Director of the Estonian National Museum Alar Karis will open a joint exhibition of Coins in Jewellery in the Eesti Pank museum at Estonia pst 11.

The exhibition is dedicated to the Estonian Song Celebration and the national costumes and their jewellery decorations that play a central part in the festival. The jewellery on display has been chosen from the collection of the Estonian National Museum. It features a wealth of Seto necklaces and coin pendants, and Estonia’s only spoke coins.

The more outstanding jewellery in the exhibition includes the spoke coins made by the goldsmith Johann Friedrich Baumann (1815–1890) of Lihula, which can be recognised by their hallmark and the motif on the coins of matrons with prominent chins and slightly hooked noses. Also of interest are the spoke coins made in Pärnu in 1808–1862 at the workshop of Magnus Wilhelm Brackmann. These are pseudo coins with a distinctive style and technique featuring characters that probably imitate Frederick II of Prussia or Tsar Peter I of Russia.

The most magnificent jewellery on display, however, is the Seto necklaces of coins. Silver ornaments play an important part in the rites of passage in the traditional Seto community, marking birth, confirmation, marriage and death. The amount of jewellery worn changed with the age of the woman, and the richest ornaments were worn by brides and married women of child-bearing age. An ensemble consisting of a large brooch, necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets could weigh 3-5 kilos.

The oldest coins in the exhibition to have been used as jewellery are from the 16th and 17th centuries. These are a six groszy coin from the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth from 1599 and Holy Roman thalers from Germany from 1627 and 1695.

The exhibition runs from 7 June to 31 August 2019.

  • Exhibition coordinator: Riina Reinvelt, Estonian National Museum
  • Designer: Krista Lepland, OÜ Laika, Belka ja Strelka
  • Exhibition team: Tiit Sibul, Karl-Erik Hiiemaa, Estonian National Museum
  • Maie Uustalu, Siiri Ries, Kaja Kährik, Eesti Pank museum
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