New Publication. The Coin Cabinet: a cultural history of the numismatic collection in the Art Gallery of South Australia, by Peter Lane

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The Coin Cabinet: a cultural history of the numismatic collection in the Art Gallery of South Australia, by Peter Lane, Honorary Numismatist of the Art Gallery of South Australia and edited by Walter Bloom President of the Numismatic Association of Australia. Published by the Art Gallery of South Australia in hard back, art paper, A4 size, 215pp, profusely illustrated in colour and printed on-demand, $50 plus postage and packaging $20. The book is only available through the author at

The book is in chapters by era from the mid-nineteenth century to present. It delves into the impact of the social circumstances of the day, the personalities of the curators and details of donors, day to day life in the coin room, examples of acquisitions, exchanges, publications used and sometimes contributed to, and much more. The book tells why and who led a movement a little over a century ago to transfer the collection from the South Australian Museum to the Art Gallery.

The author, has been interested in numismatics for over 50 years, and has won four prestigious numismatic writing awards. In 2017 Peter won the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of extraordinary service.


If you think that a history of the numismatic collection held by the Art Gallery of South Australia would be a dry read of limited appeal, you are certainly in for a pleasant surprise
with Peter Lane’s new book. It is full of life and interest.

The book brings to life the practicalities of having a collection of some 30,000 pieces. The innovative ways new acquisitions were made, why donations of duplicates were accepted, the
trading the curators did, both with individuals as well as other Government institutions, to raise awareness about the collection and much needed funds. The many photos of these
curators, as well as prominent benefactors and local identities of the times, add great depth to the tale and bring these “names” alive.

Bernie Begley, numismatist

Just finished reading The Coin Cabinet. I can hardly believe what a monumental,opus this is! It reveals important previously unpublished numismatic information,,brings the characters involved in the drama to life, as well as being a damned good,read.

Peter Fleig, numismatist

The book is wonderful, I had a good noodle through it today, it’s beautifully produced and entertainingly written – even a non-numismatist such as myself enjoyed it.

Corinne Ball, curator History SA

The Coin Cabinet is the first comprehensive survey of the highlights of the collection. Not,only does the author provide numismatically detailed information for the purists, but he contextualises it in a socio-historic context to make it of interest to both students of history,and culture alike.

Given the three years of research and the lifetime of knowledge utilised in the creation of this,work, the fact it is only being sold for $50.00 seems a trifling sum.

Anthony Hurl, SA representative, consultant, Arts & Design Sotheby’s Australia