The City of Prague Museum

A Hoard of Coins from Štěpánská Street in Prague

A Hoard of Coins from Štěpánská Street in Prague

Main Building

16. 1. 2018 – 2. 4. 2018

During archaeological research in 2005, a trove of coins was discovered in the inner courtyard of house no. 33 located at plot no. 645. The trove was found under the floor in a ceramic vessel, so-called Loštice cup, covered with a scrap of leather. It contained 2,052 silver coins from the 14th–15th centuries of a total weight 0.59 kg which were produced in mint workshops in Bohemia, Moravia, Germany, and Austria. The oldest coin (parvus) comes from the rule of John of Bohemia (1310–1346) and was minted in Kutná Hora Mint. Round coins from 1460–1468, which were minted in Kutná Hora during the rule of George of Poděbrady (1458–1471), represent the most numerous and newest group of coins.

Hoards or troves of coins represent financial means hidden by their owners in order to retrieve them in future. However, different reasons – either death or other circumstances – prevented the owners to regain the money. There were different reasons for depositing the troves, personal or social, but mainly were associated with wars. Many hoards come from the period from the Hussite Wars to the 1460s; however, they can hardly be related to specific military operations. Fear from the upcoming events may have been the owners’ motive for hiding the wherewithal. Other troves might be products of criminal activities. Escheats were also discovered – money inherited by a new owner who did not report it during the inheritance proceedings. There is no possibility to find out what were the reasons behind the hoard in Štěpánská Street, and the owner remains unknown as well.

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