The coin and medals collection contains around 520.000 items and the antiques collection 35.000 pieces, which makes the reading room quite well stuffed in items, thereby explaining the necessity of wall-to-wall closeting compartments for the coin trays.
The cabinet doors containing the coins, as well as the upper level, containing more pieces of the antiques collection from the Duc de Luynes.
Yet another unsupervised tray of rings
in a hidden corner on the last mezzanine level, an improvised cleaning desk for the antiques
the entire level is filled with antiques, the display cases, hidden away from the public, are almost bursting with them
let's head back downstairs
another door hides away an annex to the library in a rather oddly shaped space, concealed behind the circular walling of one of the main reading rooms of the old national library.
The bust of abbé Barthélemy. The abbé was a scholar and an orientalist, who managed during the revolution to save and maintain the royal collection of coins and cameos together. The reading room nowadays bears his name in remembrance.
Behind an open door, we discover endless rows of drawers, each one containing coins. this specific closet containing a minute portion of the roman imperial coins.
Touching is sometimes indeed allowed, but don't mistake this for a take-a-penny-leave-a-penny tray...
In part IV, we will discover the lavishly decorated Salon Louis XV with its wall paintings and elaborate wood paneling. It actually serves as a very confusing office space these days...