Friday, August 5, 2016

Cast Sextans and Quadrans from the 5th to 4th century BC

A couple of interesting cast pieces arrived recently:

This cast bar is about the size of a Sextans or 1/6 th of a Roman pound. I have seen them called Aes Rude (that is how this one was advertised), Aes Formatum (or a cast bar with no features) and a currency bar (Italo Vecchi, Italian Cast Coinage). I like the term Aes Formatum best. 
The bar is 30 mm wide X 38 mm long X 7 mm thick and weighs 53.3 grams. It was attributed to Latium or Campania in the 5th or 4th century BC.
There was a lot of variation in the weights of cast coins. I feel comfortable saying this bar at 53.3 grams was about the size of an older Sextans. For comparison with other bronze pieces, see below.
From top left, clockwise:
Broken bronze knife, 49.5 grams
Cast bar with lines, 37.7 grams
Sextans, TV 40, 38.5 grams
Small Ramo Secco bar piece, 48.8 grams - note this is a side view
"New" bar, 53.3 grams

a piece of a bronze ax that is about the size of a Quadrans (the one on the left)
This piece weighs 80.8 grams and is 59 mm long.

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