Sunday, May 29, 2016

Aes Formatum Palm Tree, Triangular Bar and Tear Drop Shapes

Aes Formatum Palm Tree, Triangular Bar and Tear Drop Shapes
Two interesting cast bronze pieces arrived this week. The top photo shows them next to the Currency Bar I described below.
 Ramo Secco Bar (826 grams)
Palm Shaped cast plate (29.3 grams)
Triangular Bar (14.9 grams)

The palm shaped bronze piece was described as an Aes Formatum from Central Italy (Etruria or Lazio) produced in the 6th to 4th centuries BC. I found five examples on line of sales, including mine. I did not find any in reference books for Roman Republican coins or Italian Cast bronze (Crawford, RRC; Gruber, BMCRR (or BMC on line); Sydenham, AG or CRR; Sear; Thurlow & Vecci, ICC&AG; Vecci, ICC; Haberline, AG; Garrucci, LMDIA; Kircheriano, AG; Alteri, AGL; etc. I did not find any offered by NAC or CNG.

L, mm
W, mm
T, mm
Wt, gr
Price $








Hammer price in euro


 I found two more in a blog

The seller had enough information to identify this one from Central Italy (Etruria or Lazio) to the 6th to 4th century BC. I do not find a reference book (or web site) with this piece.
The seller's description:
Aes Formatum. Siglos VI-IV a.C. ETRURIA o LAZIO. Anv.: Elemento en forma de palmera. 29,34 grs. AE. Ø 65x24 mm. Pátina marrón. (Pequeñas concreciones oscuras). MBC.

The seller's description:
Celtiberian, Copper Ingot, Centuries BC-AD PREMONEDAS IN HISPANIA. Anv .: Ingot triangular. 14.92 grams. AE. Ø 35x12 mm. Dark patina. AB-P.34. MBC.
I found more examples sales of this type of bronze online and examples in one book:
Garrucci – Table VI #5 & #6

This tear drop shaped piece was described as an Aes Formatum from Central Italy (Etruria or Lazio) produced in the 6th to 4th centuries BC. I found four examples on line of sales, including mine. I did not find any in reference books for Roman Republican coins, but I did find an example in Vecchi, Italian Cast Coinage. 
Vecci, ICC – pg 90, #6

The seller's description:
AES Formatum 49 mm . long. VI- IV centuries B.C. ETRURIA or LAZIO . 48.10 grams. AE . Green patina . I. Vecchi Nummorum auctioned by 1999. Auctiones similar piece of different dimensions. EBC .
Soler y Llach Auction International S.A.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ramo Secco, Currency Bar; CENTRAL ITALY, Emilia(?): 6th to 4th century BC

I added a currency bar ,with markings, I have been wanting for a while.

Roman Republican Ramo Secco Currency Bar (Aes Signatum)
CENTRAL ITALY, Emilia(?): 6th to 4th century BC
Fragment of a bronze ingot, on both sides branch with no leaves.
AE. 826 grams; Length = 62 mm, Width = 77 mm, Height = 36 mm
Thurlow-Vecchi AS1.
Vecchi – 3.1
HNI – pg 45 – highly ferruginous bars made apparently from 6th century in southern Etruria, Emilia and occasionally Sicily.
Grueber – lists 2 bars, but not RS
Cr – lists bars, but not RS
Syd AG – not in Sydenham
Haberline – pg 10 – 19; plates 4 – 6
Garrucci – Table VII, IX & X

The Ramo Secco cast ingots are the most common of the cast bars. They are normally found in fragments and subdivisions. They weigh anywhere from 500 grams to 2000 grams and often have weak or missing designs. 

Country Umbria  
Type or era Cent Italy Cast  
Coin type Currency Bar  
Mint   Emilia  
Issued by Anon TV AS1  
Issued by anonymous  
Title of issuer    
Mint Date, BC -500 6th to 4th cent BC
Weight, grams 826  
Weight - max 1,865  
Weight - min 32  
Weight - avg 694  
Weight - st dev 385  
Number 19  
Length, mm 61.0  
Width, mm 77.0  
Thick, mm 36.0  
Length, mm    
Width, mm    
Thick, mm    
Metal AE  
Serrated N  
Cr TV AS1  
BMCRR V 3.1  
Sear: #, VF, EF    
RSC: #, VF, EF    
CRR / AG    
HNI pg 45  
Haberline Pg 10-19, Plate 4-6  
Garrucci Pg 5-8; Table VII, IX, X  

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Overstrikes, Brockages, Die Clashes and other minting errors on Roman Republican Coins

Roman Republican Mint Errors

I recently purchased two bronze RR coins with minting errors. The first is the easiest to see and is an excellent example of a Roman Republican Sextans struck over an AE 16 from Campania, Neapolis; HNI-595. This coin is not a mint "error", but more like re-purposing of a coin struck by another authority. The second is a dot error because a quadrans should have 3 dots and this one has 4 dots on the reverse. I am not sure if the extra dot is because a triens reverse was mated with a quadrans obverse, or an extra dot was added in error. I have looked and not found a die match for the quadrans reverse.

Left coin - I found examples of coins similar to the over and under type on acsearch and posted pics below. finding exact matches is difficult because both coins have several designs

AE-16, Campania, Neapolis, 250-229 BC
Obv - Laureate head of Apollo left,
Rev - Man-faced bull (Achelous?) facing right being crowned by Nike flying right.
HNItaly 595; According to HNI, Neapolis struck coins from about 450 to 225 BC. Bronze issued started about 350 BC and coins of this type were issued in two groups: from 275 to 250 BC and from 250 to 225 BC.  
History Numorum by B Head – Neapolis is covered on pg 38 – 40. He comments that small silver coinage was replaced by bronze coinage in about 340 BC.
SNG ANS 502 (I can not find this coin on the ANS web site and do not have the book.)

2.86 grams, 15 X 17 mm oval, 4 h

Over Type (
Anonymous AE Sextans of reduced weight
Mint – uncertain
Mint date – uncertain, but after 211 BC
Obverse - Head of Mercury right; above, [two pellets].
Reverse - Prow right; above, ROMA; below, two pellets.
Cr. 56/6 or later
Andrew McCabe (essays Russo) – type G or H. On page 176, He mentions a 2.52 gram Sextans overstruck on an Apollo/Man-Headed-Bull bronze coin of Neapolis. 
2.86 grams, 15 X 17 mm, 6 h, Reddish-brown tone. VF.
Overstruck on a Neapolis AE of circa 250-225 BC (as SNG ANS 502) with undertypes fully visible. A rare and very interesting example.

Four Dot Quadrans

Anonynous AE Quadrans, of reduced weight, after 211 BC.
Obverse - Head of Hercules right, wearing lion's skin; behind, three pellets.
Reverse - ROMA. Prow right; below four (sic) pellets.
3.11 grams, 19 mm

Cr. 56/5 var. RR. Apparently unpublished. Brown patina. VF. An anomalous and enigmatic example, with four pellets on reverse.