01.03 - 30.04.2006

Chalkous for Everyday Dealings: The Unknown World of Bronze Coinage

Benaki Museum, Athens

The exhibition, titled "Chalkous for Everyday Dealings: The Unknown World of Bronze Coinage", presented to the public for the first time, part of the Numismatic Collection of the Welfare Foundation for Social and Cultural Affairs (KIKPE). The visitor was inducted into the fascinating process of identifying the coins, was introduced to the unknown world of these small and humble ‘coppers’ and, through the accompanying information panels and visual aids, became familiar with the various phases of the history of Hellenism and of those events that impacted on the development of bronze coinage.

The exhibition was organized in five units. The first unit, entitled ‘The birth of coinage’, was introductory and sketched the evolution of money from coin form to the present day. The second unit, ‘The establishment of bronze coinage’, represented important milestones in the development of bronze coinage. The third unit, ‘Coin production and mint organization’, covered the period from antiquity to the Byzantine Age, negotiating issues relating to the ‘Provenance and use of the metal’ and ‘Techniques of production’ of bronze coins, as well as the ‘Organization of mints’. The fourth unit, ‘Bronze coins, approaching their iconography’, included coins mainly from the ancient Hellenic world, with a diversity of iconographic types. The fifth and last unit, ‘Bronze coins and transactions in the ancient and Byzantine world’, moved around the value of bronze coins and was enriched with the fragmentary testimonies available to us on the prices of products of everyday consumption.

Chalkous, for everyday dealings, a conventional title in which the usual name for bronze coins in antiquity (χαλκούς) is linked directly to Plato’s text on the need to establish a suitable coin for day-to-day monetary transactions. The exhibition was inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic.

Οrganization of exhibition: ΚΙΚPΕ – Benaki Museum

Venue: Benaki Museum, Athens

Duration: 1 March 2006 – 30 Αpril 2006

Curator of exhibition: Vasiliki Penna

Μuseographic study: Stamatis Zannos

Editor and author of exhibition catalogue: Vasiliki Penna