This talk examines the ways in which Greek coins came into the British Museum collection during the 18th and 19th centuries, and how the Department of Coins and Medals was established. It focuses on key moments of acquisition, how collecting changed throughout the period, and what this meant for the formation of a separate department within the British Museum in the mid-19th century. The increasing size of the collection and wider scholarly and public interest in Greek coins also brought about changes in cataloguing at this time, from changes in the registration of coins to establishing the British Museum Catalogue of Greek Coins series.

Amelia Dowler is the Curator of Greek and Roman Provincial Coins at the British Museum. She curates a collection of nearly 100,000 coins from across the Mediterranean and neighbouring regions, covering coins from the 7th century BC to the 3rd century AD. She co-leads the British Museum Histories of Collecting and Museums Research Group and has a particular interest in 18th and 19th century Greek coin collecting.

Free, online event.

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Ptolemaic coins in the British Museum. Photo: Amelia Dowler.