The Herculano Pires Museum of Itaú Numismática is one of a kind and it is structured to receive both specialized public and general public, offering the needed information to all sorts of cultural interests and age groups.
The visits can be individual or monitored; in this case groups of 10 to 20 people, previously set up, in Portuguese or English.
The presentation begins with an informative video, calling to the attention of the participants the relevant points of numismatics and the history of Brazil, which is told in 32 modules, chronologically displayed, giving notability to important issues, documented by coins, medals and badges of honor.
Each module presents in its superior part, a panel with the image of the governor, coat of arms and flag of the time, as well as social-political and economical information of the period. In the central part of the displays you have the coins, medals and badges of honor, together with numismatic information. The lower part of the display shows the iconography of the Portuguese/Brazilian city through engravings, paintings and pictures. Each module is accompanied by soundtrack of music of the period.
This way the visitors of a group, go through 500 years of Brazil’s history in 40 minutes itineraries, which can be abbreviated to 30 minutes or increased to 100 minutes, all according to the details the group has most interest in.
With the purpose of putting the spectator in universal time, the displays have on its base a chronological tape, presenting the main historical, political and social events of Brazil and Portugal specially, and of the world in general, embracing the space of time between the years 1500 and 2000.
For the specialists, a round table shows around 236"patacões", an ancient Portuguese copper coin, allowing for detailed observation through a powerful Leica lens which enlargens objects up to 40 times.
The most distinctive pieces of the collection (which is made up of about 6558 pieces, 1500 of which are shown in the museum) are the following:
Dutch Obsidional Coins - Minted in the palace, in 1645/46, under siege and strong pressure by the Portuguese/Brazilian troops after being defeated in the Taboca Battle, with gold having come from Guinea.
Today they are absolutely rare, mostly because the mercenaries who worked for the Dutch got them, and on their way back to Holland, would trade them in for regular currency, and the Portuguese/Brazilians that obtained them in exchange for food, immediately had them melted, as possession of these coins was the proof of treason, which was punishable by hanging.
The pieces shown at the museum proceed from the rescue in 1970, of the safe of a Dutch boat which had sunk at the time, on the shores of Itaparica Island.
Monetary Endeavor Terra Santa Crvsis - It's the only numismatic piece to carry Brazil's primitive name. There are only two specimens that are known, and the other one is in the lot of Bank of Portugal.
Doubloons - Minted in 1724/27 by order of D. João V (during the peak of the gold cycle), not only are they beautiful in their magnificent design, they present almost 55 grams of gold, being considered the coin with the most intrinsic value ever to have been dealed in the world.
Gold Bars - The gold ploughed in the mines could not circulate in the format of powder or nuggets, which was considered fraud and punishable by hanging. It was necessary for the results of the ploughing to be taken to the casting houses in order to be "quinted" and then minted or transformed in to official bars with all the seals that attested to its validity. Today they are extremely rare and very disputed in auctions, where they reach high prices. The Museum possesses six magnificent specimens.
The Cayenne Takeover - When the Royal Family came to Brazil, fleeing from Napoleon, D. João VI, in retaliation, ordered Cayenne to be invaded, capital of the French Guyana. In order to celebrate this event, the coin was minted in 1809, in England, a beautiful medal, which today is considered to be the first Brazilian military medal.
Coronation Piece - When D. Pedro I was crowned on December 1st, 1822, coins were minted with the purpose of contributing to the church, as was tradition the Portuguese kings always did this on the day of their crowning. But since it did not satisfy the Emperor and because it showed flaws and inconveniences in its design, and also because there was no more gold, only 64 specimens were minted and today only 14 are known of.
Due to its historical value, it is today the most valuable of Brazilian numismatics, reaching the price of US$ 200,000.00 apiece.
The Order of the Rose - When D. Leopoldina passed away, the first wife of D.Pedro I, the court and the people awaited the marriage of the Emperor to his favorite mistress, the Marchise of Santos. Due to political reasons and because the Emperor's feelings were already worn out, an emissary was sent to Europe in search for a bride. The chosen one was the Bavarian Noble Amélia de Leuchtenberg. Filled with emotion at the arrival of his bride-to-be, D. Pedro I, when seeing her for the first time, blond, blue-eyed and in a pink dress, in romantic ecstasy, decrees the Order of the Rose, which would become the most important citation of the Brazilian Empire. Exhibiting in its center the phrase "Love and Fidelity", and on the reverse side "Pedro and Amélia", it's a beautiful piece in enamel, gold and silver, which can be seen in the Museum.
Opening hours :
Tuesdays through Fridays: from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays: from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Entrance is free of charge
Monitored visits for groups of 10 to 20 people should be scheduled a few days before.
In order to set up monitored visits please call: +55 11 3268-1876
Fax: +55 11 3268-1775
Map of Itau NumismaticaAddress: Avenida Paulista 149 - 9 andar, Bairro da Bela Vista, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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