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History of the Collection

The term “Taler” or “Thaler” had come into use during the 16th century to refer to the ‘Joachimstaler Guldengroschen’, which contained one ounce, or 27.2 g, of silver and was named after the location of the silver mine. During this period the silver deposits in the Ore Mountains created enormous wealth for Georg the Bearded (Duke 1500 – 1539), so that he was also referred to as Georg the Rich. It is therefore not surprising that it was he who founded the Dresden Münzkabinett in about 1530. Over the centuries the collection of the Saxon electors and kings was constantly expanded by purchases and donations. By the beginning of the 18th century it was among the most famous coin cabinets of Europe. From the second half of the 18th century onwards, the museum also developed into a centre of scholarly research.

For a long time the princely collection was kept in the Residenzschloss. After having been moved to the Taschenbergpalais in 1743, it was transferred by Elector Friedrich August III, along with the library and the collection of antiquities, to the Japanisches Palais, the new “Museum Saxonicum” in 1786. In 1877 the Münzkabinett was moved back to the Residenzschloss, and then from 1911 until 1945 it was housed in the Chancellery Building. After the Second World War the collection was taken to Moscow by the Red Army Trophy Commission. It returned to Dresden in 1958, minus the books and magazines which had also been confiscated. From 1959 onwards a selection of coins and medals was on view in the Albertinum. Now that the Münzkabinett has moved back into the Residenzschloss, the museum has returned to its place of origin. The study hall and library are modern and spacious.