A map of the town of Nagyszentmiklós (today Sânnicolau Mare, Romania)
History of discovery
The treasure was discovered in 1799 in a town called Nagyszentmiklós (today Sânnicolau Mare, western Romania) in the region of Banat, which was at that time included in the Habsburg Empire. Nowadays, the region is divided among several countries – Hungary, Romania and Serbia.
The history of discovery is intriguing and full of continuing uncertainties and questions. It was encountered in a vineyard by a farmer named Neza Vuin when he was digging. Whether and how long the vessels of the treasure had been suspended on his courtyard wall before he tried to sell them, and what was the initial number of vessels remains unclear. The names of two local tradesmen, Markó Dimitrievics and Trandaphil Pandovics, the goldsmith István Jankovich and the trader Naum Nitta are involved in the story while trying to sell the vessels illegally, being subjected to judicial interrogations and confiscations.
Ultimately, 23 whole vessels reached the imperial collection in Vienna.
Today’s presentation in Hall XVII, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.
The treasure nowadays
The treasure is exhibited in Hall XVII, dedicated to the Migration Period, of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna. For more than 200 years, it remains one of the masterpieces of the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities of the museum.