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Rijksmuseum Visit

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A few days ago while in Amsterdam my wife and I visited the Rijksmuseum.






In one nondescript corner of the museum, they have a 'reading room' full of ancient books. One may view it on a balcony that looks down onto the tables within the library where very serious looking folks are researching with the old texts and documents stored there. On the balcony they have a display case full of stunning medals and coins from around the world. The one US coin was a 1794 Flowing Hair half dollar. I grade it AU55 by today's standards, if so there are only a few graded higher (I needed Bill Jones there to get a proper grade.....). There were some adjustment marks present, and I think it was lacquered but otherwise appeared to have a nice patina on it and certainly not otherwise messed with. If this is just an average valued coin in that case, what we were looking at must have been a fortune in world medals and coins. I am guessing that their is a much larger collection, but the Rijksmuseum website appears to be a work in progress and not full of info at this date, at least on the coins and medals. Viewing these coins and medals were a pleasant surprise, and unexpected find, and the ambience of the research library with the rare collection of books was something special. I strongly recommend those that visit Amsterdam to make sure they see this small piece of the Rijksmusuem when you go - make sure you arrive at opening, the museum begins to have a Louvre length line by 30 minutes after opening.


This is also a lesson in rare coins - very highly sought after examples may be anywhere, whoda thought this rare coin would be in a European museum in a display that appears to be an afterthought to fill a space on a viewing balcony?


Of course, the renaisance and later art was spectacular, lots of Rembrandt, Vermeer, but even later works by van Gogh and other impressionists (although the museum next door focuses on van Gogh - its namesake - and other impressionists).


Best, HT

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