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At the time of the November Uprising, which broke out in Warsaw in 1830 to oppose Tsarist Russia, the National Government ordered a series of new coins to be made including a 3 copper groschen, a 10 coin groschen, silver two- and five-zloty coins and gold Dutch ducats.

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At the time of the November Uprising, which broke out in Warsaw in 1830 to oppose Tsarist Russia, the National Government ordered a series of new coins to be made including a 3 copper groschen, a 10 coin groschen, silver two- and five-zloty coins and gold Dutch ducats. The management of the Warsaw mint was taken over by the Bank of Poland. The emperor’s head and a double-headed Russian eagle were removed from the coin stamps. The obverse of the first four denominations featured the crowned Polish-Lithuanian emblem and the “Kingdom of Poland” inscription. Additionally, the five-zloty coin was fitted with a “GOD SAVE POLAND” inscription embossed at the border. The coins were issued according to the 1815 weight standard. The “K.G.” letters visible on the reverse referred to Karol Gronau, manager of the Warsaw mint in the years 1829—1834.
Dutch ducats circulated in the market earlier, along with the national currency, and were the coins used for international trade. On the obverse of the insurgent ducats, there was a knight with 7 arrows in his left hand and a raised sword in his right hand. On the sides, there was the “18–31” date with the encircling inscription: CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT [Concord makes small things flourish]. These ducats differed from the original Dutch issue by a tiny eagle starting the legend on the obverse. The gold used to produce the coins came from a public collection organised in response to the appeal by the National Government.
The commemorative boxes containing these coins and the one-zloty banknote originate from the same period. The box lids were decorated with silver emblems of Poland and Lithuania, or just the Polish eagle and gilded inscriptions. These days they are valuable collector’s items.

Elaborated by Elżbieta Korczyńska (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Real treasure

Everyone has got his or her own treasures; small children bury a small glass object in the ground, placing flowers, twigs, and beads under it. The greatest joy is to dig them out – usually by accident, already when they are forgotten, although sometimes it is difficult to stop curiosity and abstain from checking whether the secret is still there...

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Everyone has got his or her own treasures; small children bury a small glass object in the ground, placing flowers, twigs, and beads under it. The greatest joy is to dig them out – usually by accident, already when they are forgotten, although sometimes it is difficult to stop curiosity and abstain from checking whether the “secret“ is still there.
The work of an archaeologist is like the extension of childhood – excavating and discovering. Valuables purposely hidden in the past and found after centuries are described as treasures or hoards. The hoard from Witów, the hoard from Nowa Huta–Pleszów, the hoard from Stefkowa, the hoard from Kanonicza Street.
What are the treasures from the collection of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums?
The hoard from Witów consists of only four gold coins. They were struck in the period when the Roman Empire was already divided into two parts. In the east Theodosius II (408–450) was the emperor, whereas in the west – Valentinian III (425–455).
Along with the find from Witów, a part of the hoard from Kanonicza Street can also be seen in the collection of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums. The treasure contains 4212 bars (grzywna, so-called commodity money) of a total weight of about 3630 kg!
The hoard from Stefkowa contains mainly elements of jewellery from the Bronze Age. This metal – an alloy of copper and tin – was one of the most valued at that time. Although being tiny, the objects must have been of great value for their owner to have been hidden so scrupulously, thanks to which they survived hidden in the ground for as long as 3500 thousand years.
Our collection also boasts the hoard from Nowa Huta–Pleszów. In a clay pot from the Piast period over 2 kg of coins and valuables, including cast silver nuggets, were hidden.
The idea of a treasure referring to the value of material was changing throughout the centuries – bronze, gold, silver, iron… Today, messages for the next generations are still being sent, e.g., by cultivating the tradition of placing documents in the globe of a church tower, thus recording the traces which will allow one to retrace a picture of our epoch in the future. How will our times be evaluated? What conclusions will be drawn by historians and archaeologists?
We invite you to discover these real treasures in our collection. Perhaps for some this will be a glass feudal coin from the 17th century or a Celtic glass bead seen from a short distance.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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Commemorative box with coins and a banknote from the times of the November Uprising of 1831

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