A Golden Jubilee: 50 Years of the Barber Coin Collection

In 2020, the Barber celebrates the golden anniversary of its coin collection – one of the most significant in the world. Scholars and numismatists, Geoffrey Haines (1899 – 1981) and Philip Whitting (1903 – 1988), each left their vast collections of a combined 15,000 pieces to the Barber with the condition that the coins were … Read more

The Last Roman

Emperor Justinian I (527 – 565 AD), the so-called ‘Last Roman Emperor’, rose from peasant beginnings in Serbia to become the most powerful man on Earth. Crowned Emperor of the Romans at Constantinople in 527 AD, Justinian’s reign saw a surge in the might of the Roman Empire – land in the West was reclaimed … Read more

Buried Treasures

Uncovering Hoards Buried treasure – and the excitement of discovering it – lies at the heart of this fascinating exhibition exploring coin hoards. The Barber Institute’s collection contains coins from no fewer than 48 hoards, of which eight will be uncovered here. These include two caches unearthed in Britain: the Dorchester Hoard (pictured right), dug … Read more

Inheriting Rome

The Imperial Legacy in Coinage and Culture Look at one of the coins you’re carrying today: you’ll see the Queen’s portrait facing right and Latin script around the royal head. It seems our coins have looked this way forever – and that’s nearly true. But why? This exhibition uses money to explore and question our deep-seated familiarity with the Roman Empire’s imagery. Britain is … Read more

MODERN & MISCELLANEOUS

In addition to its world-class medieval coin collection and impressive selection of Roman coins, the Barber Institute Coin Room also houses various selections of modern coins, a small range of Hellenistic coinage and a small but significant collection of Byzantine lead seals. Some of these have resulted from generous donations. Others form part of the … Read more

History of the Coin Collection

In 1967 the Trustees supplemented the Barber’s magnificent works of art by acquiring over 15,000 coins from Philip Whitting and Geoffrey Haines, two distinguished collectors and numismatists. Philip Whitting had taught at the University of Birmingham (where he now has the main Byzantine Studies seminar room named after him) and so decided to donate his … Read more

FAITH & FORTUNE

Visualising the divine on Byzantine and Early Islamic Coinage Epochal moments in the early histories of two of the world’s great religions – as illustrated by the currencies their followers created and circulated – are explored in this absorbing exhibition. Coins have always provided a stage on which the dramas of religion and politics, statehood … Read more

COIN STUDY ROOM

If you would like to visit the collection after the lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions in England, please note the following alterations to historic arrangements: As the Coin Study Room is a small, windowless space, we regret that room capacity has been limited to one person. Because of this, we are now only able to … Read more

CITYSCAPES

Panoramic Views on European Coins and Medals London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Barcelona, Venice and Budapest… Explore the historical landscapes of all these cities – and more – in Cityscapes: Panoramic Views on European Coins and Medals at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. The third in a series of prestigious shows organised in collaboration with the British Museum, Cityscapes highlights how, … Read more