Freer Purchases Gold Treasure Pieces

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Walter Dennison, professor of Latin at the University of Michigan, advises Charles Lang Freer via telegram to buy the "Gold Treasure" cache from Maurice Nahman, art dealer in Cairo, Egypt. Freer buys nine pieces from the cache. He does not see his purchases, which include medallions, a statuette, bracelets, and a pair of earrings, until he returns to Detroit, Michigan, in December 1909. Later scholarship suggests that the objects of the "Gold Treasure" cache were made in Constantinople in the 6th or 7th century.


  • Freer, Charles Lang 1854-1919
  • Dennison, Walter 1869-1917
  • Freer Gallery of Art


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • In 1906 Charles Lang Freer donates his art collection to the Smithsonian Institution, and it later becomes the Freer Gallery of Art.
  • Lawton, Thomas and Linda Merrill. Freer: A Legacy of Art. Washington, D.C.: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution in association with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1993, p. 81.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Gold
  • Art
  • Decoration and ornament
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Jewelry
  • Metal-work
  • Medals
  • Art, Byzantine
  • Art, European
  • Metalwork
  • Decorative arts
  • Art objects
  • Art dealers


Byzantine Empire

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