Farmers, the Police Force, and the Authorities: The “Calvatone (1911) Hoard” as Seen Through Archival Records (Cremona – Italy)
Abstract: This paper presents a new set of archival records from Rome on the discovery of a Roman Republican denarii hoard, found by the brothers Birsilio and Luigi Simonazzi on their lands at Calvatone (Cremona, Italy, 1911). Local police forces seized the hoard and alerted the Coin Cabinet of Brera in Milan, where the numismatist Serafino Ricci (1867–1943) evaluated and finally acquired selected coins to increase the museum collections. The “Calvatone (1911) hoard” is an essential case study in the history of Italian numismatic collections, museum studies, and archaeology. These records are particularly worth studying for two main reasons. They show how local and regional authorities dealt with casual archaeological discoveries in northern Italy during the post-Unification period (1861–1918). They also help us to better understand how the Italian government acted to safeguard antiquities according to contemporary law, and how the state collections could be increased by judicial seizures and fresh acquisitions.