One of the 17th Marquis of Cerralbos favourite pastimes was numismatics, which he shared with his stepson Antonio del Valle, Marquis of Villa Huerta. In the more than 23,000 pieces in the collection, a part of which belongs to Villa Huerta - identifiable by the initials VH before the inventory number- we can appreciate his interest in History, specifically in Antiquity, the modern and contemporary coins of his times as well as medals.
When taking a look at his currency, a series of groups can be differentiated in those pertaining to Antiquity. The set of Greek and Punic coins with post-Alexandrian examples and provincial Eastern coins. On the other hand, there are Roman Republican coins with some denarii from the late 1st century B.C. and Hispanic coins, basically made up of bronze coins from the mints of Eméritas, Gades, Colonia Patricia and Itálica, and finally, the most outstanding are the imperial coins which without a doubt is one of the most plentiful sections of his collection. Particularly noteworthy among the High Roman Empire coins are the Claudius, Vespasian or Gordian sestercii or the Emperor Constantine the Great series from the Low Roman Empire. His liking for these pieces perhaps comes from his enthusiasm for classical archaeology on which he concentrated during his last years of life, himself leading several excavation campaigns at sites in the province of Soria.
Although not as numerous, medieval coins also entered his collection. Although less represented, there are few silver Arab coins and a golden dobla which can be admired by all in the museum library.
Despite its scarce representation in private Spanish collections, bronze Byzantine coins have a place in this currency collection with nearly one hundred examples.
Finally, and without leaving the Middle Ages, the Castilla y León crown coins as well as the Henry IV reales and Valencian coins are worth mentioning. From outside the peninsula, the Merovingian and Carolingian coins complete the Middle Ages section.
Because of their number, the modern and contemporary universal coins are worth highlighting. Mr. Enrique Aguilera y Gamboas travels along with his family led him to crossing a large part of Europe, visiting France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Turkey... several times, bringing back circulating numerary from these places. Moreover, the collection houses American, Asian and African series from the 16th to 20th centuries with examples of American resealed coins for the purpose of allowing them to circulate in other Eastern countries.
Also outstanding is the set of obsidional coins or coins of need in which the Marquis had a special interest. They were purchased in 1886 at an auction in Paris, having originated from the Mailliet collection, as is recorded in the museum catalogues.
Proof of Cerralbos liking and interest in numismatics is the selection of books on this subject found in his library which is outstanding for his times as well as a medium for the classification and study of his collection. In fact, a significant percentage of the coins and medals are located in the library, the place where the Marquis spent a large amount of his time.Salto de línea