Oriental Coin Cabinet Jena

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Oriental Coin Cabinet Jena (German: Orientalisches Münzkabinett Jena) is a collection of oriental coins at Jena University, in Jena, Germany, founded in 1840.


In 1840, Johann Gustav Stickel, Professor for Oriental languages at Jena University, succeeded in convincing the Grandduke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach to acquire a collection of 1,500 Oriental coins, and allowing him to study them. The collection was formed by Heinrich August Zwick, missionary of the German Protestant Herrnhut-Brotherhood, in Russia. He lived at the missionary outpost and small town Sarepta at the banks of the Volga river from 1816 to 1832. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of the Volga archaeology.

Stickel won Maria Pavlovna, the Grand duchess, as the main benefactor of the collection, which in turn grew rapidly. At the death of Stickel in 1896 the collection comprised about 12,000 specimens. At the end of the 19th century the keen interest of Orientalist for Islamic coins as textual sources lost its momentum, because of the abundance of other now edited texts. In 1906 Stickel's successor, the Orientalist Karl Vollers gave the figure of about 14,000 specimens. He died in 1909.

The last professor for Oriental studies Arthur Ungnad left the University in 1919. In 1939, about 4,000 coins were given back to the now abdicated Grand-Ducal family.[by whom?] Several hundreds of coins were then lost in the aftermath of World War II. The collection was preserved during the period of the German Democratic Republic.

In 1994, Semitic Philology and Islamic Studies were revived at the Jena University. At that time the collection comprised still 8,690 coins. The scientific activities of the Oriental Coin cabinet were coordinated by Stefan Heidemann.The collection was then brought to live again as a modern scientific research tool for the history of the Islamic and Oriental world. With the help of generous private benefactors the collection now holds about 21,000 coins, covering an area from Morocco to East Asia.

Sources of the collection

As of November 2012, the collection consists of around 21,000 Islamic coins and 1,200 East Asian coins. The Oriental Coin Cabinet in Jena contains collections from the following persons:


  • Johann Gustav Stickel, Handbuch zur Orientalischen Münzkunde. Das Grossherzogliche orientalische Münzcabinet zu Jena, erstes Heft, (F.A. Brockhaus) 1845, Zweites Heft, Leipzig (F.A. Brockhaus) 1870, reprint Leipzig 1975.
  • Karl Vollers, Das orientalische Münzkabinett der Universität Jena im Jahre 1906. In: Blätter für Münzfreunde 41, 6, (1906) col. 3515–3524; 41, 7–8, col. 3529–3537.
  • Stefan Heidemann, Das Orientalische Münzkabinett Jena - Die Islamische Münzkunde von der Theologie der Aufklärung zu den Regionalstudien (The Oriental Coin Cabinet in Jena - Islamic Numismatics from the Period of the Theology of Enlightenment to the Regional Studies). In: Gesellschaft der Freunde Islamischer Kunst und Kultur (ed.): Eothen IV. Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft der Freunde Islamischer Kunst und Kultur e.V (2007), pp. 95–120.
  • Stefan Heidemann, Bibliothek des Großherzoglichen Orientalischen Münzkabinetts, in: Friedhilde Krause (general ed.) — Felicitas Marwinski (ed.), Handbuch der Historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland 20, Thüringen H-R, Hildesheim, Zürich, New York (Olms-Weidmann) 1999, pp. 162–163.
  • Stefan Heidemann — Claudia Sode, Christlich-orientalische Bleisiegel im Orientalischen Münzkabinett Jena, in: Aram periodical 11–12 (1999–2000), pp. 533–593.
  • Sylloge der Münzen des Kaukasus und Osteuropas im Orientalischen Münzkabinett Jena bearbeitet von Tobias Mayer mit Beiträgen von Stefan Heidemann und Gert Rispling (Orientalisches Münzkabinett Jena 1, ed. by Norbert Nebes und Stefan Heidemann), Wiesbaden (Harrassowitz) 2005.

External links

  • Orientalisches Münzkabinett German
  • Library of the Oriental Coin Cabinet German
  • Collections of Oriental Coins in Germany
  • History of Oriental Studies in Jena German

Coordinates: 50°55′39″N 11°35′27″E / 50.9275°N 11.5907°E / 50.9275; 11.5907

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