The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 46, November 18, 2018, Article 5


Horacio Morero and Justo Otaegui, members of Instituto Federal de Investigadores Numismáticos de la República Argentina (IFINRA), submitted this translation of a remembrance of Arnaldo J. Cunietti-Ferrando. Thank you. -Editor

Arnaldo J. Cunietti-Ferrando With deep sadness, we regret to inform the passing of Arnaldo J. Cunietti-Ferrando on November 3rd 2018, Founding Member and Honorary President of the Instituto Federal de Investigadores Numismáticos de la República Argentina, IFINRA (Federal Institute of Numismatic Researchers of the Argentine Republic).

It is very difficult to summarize in these brief lines the immense legacy that Arnaldo left to the numismatic community.

He was Argentina’s greatest numismatic researcher for the last decades. Archives, museums and libraries, both in the country and abroad, had no secrets for him. He left no area of ??our discipline without studying: the first patriotic coins, the provincial coinage, the private emissions, the national coinage and, especially, the history of the Potosí mint and its coinage were the object of his interest and interminable curiosity. His vocation for knowledge was not only limited to coinage: paper money, tokens and, in particular, medals were also fertile grounds for his research.

His bibliographic production, which took place for more than half a century, was vast and covered a wide variety of topics. Along with a number of articles, publications and conferences, we also find his books, which are unavoidable reference for numismatists. His main books are the following: five editions of its catalog “Monedas Argentinas ("Argentinian Coins"); “Monedas y Medallas. Cuatro siglos de historia y arte” ("Coins and Medals. Four centuries of history and art"); “Historia de la Real Casa de Moneda de Potosí durante la dominación hispánica” (“History of the Royal House of Money of Potosí during the Spanish domination"); “Historia de las Medallas Argentinas” ("History of the Argentinian Medals"); and, more recently, “La Casa de Moneda de Potosí durante las Guerras de la Independencia” ("The Mint House of Potosí during the Wars of Independence").

But undoubtedly Arnaldo’s masterpiece was the "Cuadernos de Numismática y Ciencias Históricas" of the Buenos Aires Numismatic Center, which he founded and directed for forty years. Due to the quality of its articles, the variety of the topics treated and the care in its edition, in which the hand of Arnaldo was decisive, the “Cuadernos” are the principal bibliographical reference of Argentinian numismatics and have been considered in all fairness like a true encyclopedia of our discipline. Once his beloved “Cuadernos” culminated a cycle, he knew how to turn his editorial passion into the “Aportes de Numismática e Historia Argentina y Latinoamericana” ("Contributions of Numismatics and Argentine and Latin American History"), a publication of the Bonaerense Institute of Numismatics and Antiquities that he founded in 2015 and was currently directing.

He had a prolific institutional life as well. Member since his youth of the Argentine Numismatic Association, he joined the courageous group that, in an act of rebellion against the unipersonal conduction of the institution, gave birth half a century ago to the Buenos Aires Numismatic Center, to which he dedicated many years of his life. He was also a member of the Buenos Aires Institute of Numismatics and Antiquities and served as its President till the moment of his death. Following the tradition of the illustrious numismatists who founded the Board of American Numismatics, in 2011 he was appointed Corresponding Member of the National Academy of History. He was also a member or an honorary member of various numismatic institutions in Argentina and abroad. He enthusiastically supported the creation of IFINRA and was one of its founding members. On the occasion of the tribute that was offered at the 2nd Numismatic Conference of the Numismatic and Philatelic Center of Bariloche, we announced his appointment as Honorary President of the Institute, in recognition of his tireless work and for being an example for all of us.

He was founder and director for many years of the Historical and Numismatic Museum of the Banco de la Nación Argentina, which, under his efficient administration and expertise, managed to gather one of the largest public collections in our country, giving him a privileged position to devote all his efforts to the developing of numismatic science and to the enhancement of the national historical heritage.

With the passing of Arnaldo J. Cunietti-Ferrando there is left a void that will be impossible to fill. His gigantic legacy will forever be the testimony of a life dedicated to study and research, but, above all, the example of how to approach our science and be a numismatic researcher, as himself, intense and passionate.

Instituto Federal de Investigadores Numismáticos de la República Argentina (IFINRA).

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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