Howard Berlin submitted this report on his recent travels in Europe. Thanks! We're very much looking forward to his upcoming book.
The Numismatourist (aka Howard Berlin) has recently returned from visiting Helsinki, Hamburg, and for the second time this year, Berlin. It had been 44 years (1968) since I had last visited Helsinki so I had no idea what it was like then. I paid a visit to the National Museum of Finland which has an exhibition of coins, medals, banknotes, orders and decorations in more than 22 cases in the lower level/basement in an area called the "Treasure Troves," under the control of its head keeper, Dr. Tuukka Talvio. All text, except for a few panels, are in Finnish, Swedish, and English.
Order of the White Rose of Finland Grand Cross
Among the exhibits, I found two unusual items. One was the Order of the White Rose of Finland Grand Cross with Collar, one of three official orders of Finland. The original collar's design, from 1919 had nine swastikas alternating with nine white roses. Even though the swastika had long been a symbol associated with ancient civilizations of the Indus valley rather than the Nazis, it was replaced in 1963 by fir crosses. Believe it or not, not all plate money is from Sweden. The other item on display is a very rare Russian 1726 10-kopeck plate money.
Gallery exhibits of the National Bank of Finland Museum
The central bank's museum, The National Bank of Finland, is headed by Mr. Jaakko Koskentola, who I had the pleasure of meeting and acted as my tour guide. The exhibits are divided into three areas: the permanent numismatic exhibit consisting primarily of banknotes, the informational exhibit about its role as Finland's central bank, and a temporary exhibition. The latter was about Finland's last Markkaa which, displayed in public for the first time, actual artists' banknote designs for all denominations of the last Markkaa series. Like the National Museum, all informational text is in three languages: Finnish, Swedish, and English. The museum is in separate building from the Bank of Finland, only one block down the street.
Hamburg History Museum
While in Hamburg, I wisely chose to revisit visit the coin exhibit of the Hamburg History Museum (from 4 years ago) instead of the infamous Reeperbahn district. Text is in German and English. The major exhibit are coins from the 15th and 16th century from around Hamburg.
In a not so shameless promotion, these three sites, as many of the others I have discussed in past issues of The E-Sylum, plus more than 100 others are included in my book, "The Numismatourist: The Only World-Wide Travel Guide to Museums, Mints, and Other Places of Interest for the Numismatist." This is to be published either later this year or early next year by Zyrus Press.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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