Showcase 5. Hoard of Coins from the 14th-17th Centuries

This showcase introduces several hoards of ancient coins and payment ingots found in the Moscow Kremlin area.

A unique hoard of Golden Horde dirhams and Russian ingots from the 14th century is displayed next to the clay pot. A coin of Khiḍr Khan (Maḥmūd Ḫiḍr Ḫān) and a bullion with Russian stamps are specially placed under the multiplying glass. The treasure is a reminder of the tragic events of 1382, when the city of Moscow was burned to the ground by the troops of Khan Tokhtamysh.

The next in chronological order is the hoard of coins of the Golden Horde, the Crimean Khanate and the Genoese Tartar asprs (akçe) from the 15th century, discovered during excavations at the site of the Chudov Monastery and the Ascension Convent. A magnifying glass allows us to examine a coin minted by the Genoese in Kaffa (Feodosia). The treasure reflects Moscow’s close contacts with Italy and the Crimea during the reign of Ivan III and recalls of the existence of the Tatar court in the Moscow Kremlin.

A green-glazed jug is part of a hoard of Russian coins from the 15th-16th centuries, hidden in the 1520s. It was found in 1930 during the archaeological dig on the place of the two destroyed monasteries mentioned above.

Another hoard of Russian coins, dating back to 1606-1607, is presented together with a tile.

JugA tile and a coin hoard from the 16th-17th centuriesNovgorod poltina

Next to the jug, one can see the trove that was hidden in the autumn of 1612, and discovered in 1994 due to the renovation of the Senate building. The unique feature of the find is a gold coin and 1770 silver coins bearing the name of the Polish Crown prince Wladyslaw IV, who was nominally Russian tsar in 1610-1612. The number of Wladyslaw's coins in this hoard is several times greater than in all the Russian museums. The buried treasure also included a kopeck minted by the Second Patriotic Movement in 1612-1613 at the temporary Mint in Moscow on behalf of the late Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich (1584-1598). A Polish 3 grosz coin of 1594 was also found in this hoard. These treasures remind us of the Times of Troubles in the early 17th century and the liberation of Moscow by the Patriotic Movement of Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky.

Coins dating back to the middle of the 17th century from a huge (more than 33800 coins) and unique treasure trove, discovered in 1939 in the passage of the Spassky Tower, complete the exhibition. On display is a metal jug that served as a container for the treasure, a number of coins, pectoral crosses and jewellery that were buried together with the coins. The Moscow Uprising (or Salt Riot) of 1648 is probably the reason for the hoard's concealment. 

At the top of the showcase are a number of vessels found during archaeological excavations in the Kremlin: a series of jugs, a washing vessel and a bowl – all of which could have been used to hide money in the past.

Washing vesselVessels