Object 2

Double pistol with large head
Posthumous money of Charles Quint,
found in the stomach of a cow at the abattoir in Namur in 1883
France (Besançon workshop), 1578
(gold - 33.4 mm -13.04 g)
Royal Library of Belgium, Medal Cabinet
Inv. 2I59 /16


In a solemn session of our Society a few years ago, we were told the story of a numismatic dog. It was said that this interesting quadruped dealt mainly in Roman coins. It could easily distinguish the various emperors and, even more surprisingly, classify them in chronological order from Julius Caesar to Olybrius.

Now, here is a story which is undoubtedly less surprising, but the recollection of which deserves to be preserved in a review devoted to numismatics. The greatest and the most serious newspapers in Belgium and France have reported on it time and again; a sickly cow which vets were unable to heal [...], was slaughtered in one of Namur's neighbouring villages. In its intestines, it had a very large gold coin of Besançon, a Charles V-type quadruple pistol [sic], a very rare piece, a variety of type, perhaps unique. Any less would be crazy. At first, we were tempted to take the story as a joke; it had all the hallmarks of one.

But after it was confirmed by a scholar and serious conservator who showed us the coin and who would never risk joking about medals, we've had to say: Credo quia absurdum. ̎



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