Saturday, November 16, 2013

Anonymous Asse, V, Cr 87/1???

Anonymous Asse
Cr 56/2 or is it Cr 87/1, V
211 to 210 BC

I purchased a coin from Artemide Aste in their auction 24.1E. - Collezione J. Baptiste; Lot 56; Serie anonima sestantale. Asse, dopo il 211 a.C.    Cr. 56/2. AE. g. 32.56  mm. 33.00   Forato MB.
Translating the coin description from Italian to English is easy, just use Google Translate.
·         Collezione -> collection
·         Serie -> Series
·         anonima -> anonymous
·         sestantale -> sestantale, for this one it is good to know that the Sextantial series of Roman Republican Bronze coins refers to an Asse with a “standard” weight of 20 – 40 grams.
·         Asse -> Ass -> As, a large bronze coin that dropped in weight from 275 grams to about 20 grams over two centuries. The largest weight drop was during the 2nd Carthaginian War.
·         AE -> bronze
·         dopo il 211 a.C. -> after 211 A.C, mint date
·         Cr. 56/2 -> attribution references Roman Republican Coinage by Crawford, catalogue # 56.2.
·         Forato -> drilled 
·         MB -> almost fine (this seems like an over grade)
That was simple enough. The coin has a hole drilled in it. But… the origin of Forato is neat.

Monte Forato is a mountain (1,230 m) in the Alpi Apuane, in Tuscany, central Italy. It is formed by two peaks of similar altitude, connected by a natural arch which has given the group its name (meaning "Holed Mountain" in Italian). The hole, nearly circular in shape, has a height of c. 12 m, while the arch itself is some 8 m thick. The arch can be seen from both Versilia and Garfagnana valleys at the two sides of the Monte Forato. Looking from some spots, the arch creates an effect of double sunset (or dawn, like on 22 June from Volegno), when the sun falls between the arch, soon reappearing for a short while in the hole below.
Crawford 87/1 ?????
The attribution seemed ok and the story about Mt. Forato seemed interesting until the coin arrived. I looked at the coin and took some pictures. I could see a lot more detail on the coin than I could on the auction picture. The Janus head picture I took shows a lot more detail. The reverse also shows something, maybe. Just to the right of the beak of the prow is what looks to me like \, or half of a V. I have been able to find only a few Cr 87/1 pictures on line. The best pic I found was a coin offered by NAC and it is shown below. The Janus head could be similar, but the reverse is not the same. I have seen so few coins that it is hard to decide if the line is half of a V, with the other half off the flan, or just an imperfection on the coin's surface. The weight is about right for Cr 87/1. My coin weighs 32.6 grams and would weigh more without the hole. Crawford gives the weight standard for 87/1 of 40.5 grams and notes the average weight of five coins known to him was 36 grams. Cr 56/2 has a higher weight standard of 53 grams, but starts with a high weight that drops to the standard for 87/1 = 40.5.
My coin.


NAC coin