Sunday, August 7, 2016

Anonymous Semilibral Quartuncis, Struck Rome, 217 to 215 BC, Cr 38/8

Anonymous Semilibral Quartuncis, Struck

Rome, 217 to 215 BC, Cr 38/8

Roman Republican AE, Anonymous, Semilibral, Quartuncis, Struck
Rome 217 to 215 BC
Obv – helmeted head of Roma, R, wearing an Attic helmet with peaked visor, wearing ear ring of one drop
Rev – Prow right, above ROMA, note the structure above deck on this boat is at about a 30 degree angle. At first I thought it might be double struck, but that is the design. I guess the Romans wanted rain to flow off the front of the pilot house.
3.24 grams; 15.4 X 16.1X 0.24 mm; 9h
Crawford – 38/8, this group is based on an As of 128 grams. 128 / 48 = 2.67
BMCRR – Rome 169, Grueber notes that D’Ailly of the British Museum was the first to recognize this denomination. Babelon and Mommsen did not have this denomination. BMCRR lists 16 examples with a weight range of 1.88 to 4.28 grams, Avg Wt = 3.01 g, St Dev = 0.71; Avg Dia = 16.0.
Sydenham – 88 or 110, Syd calls the obverse Bellona, the Roman War Goddess, and gives a weight range of 4.3 to 2 grams for #88 and 4.3 to 1.9 grams for #110. Syd says the only difference in 88 & 110 is weight.
Sear – 624, Sear comments the QU is the smallest RR denomination and was issued only briefly during the Semilibral period, 217 to 215 BC. With declines in RR bronze coin weights, the denomination ceased, never to be resumed.
Albert die Munzen der Romischen Republik – #110, This book arrived this week. I will have to use Google translate until I learn more German!
·         Obv - Romakopf mit attischem Helm; in German
·         Obv - Roma head with Attic helmet; translated to English
·         Rev – Prow right, in ex ROMA 
RBW – 110

This coin is one of 8 I bought at a coin show yesterday that were in old envelopes. Ex. an old hoard from off the Italian Coast; Elsen 37, 12/17/94, #227. Seven of the eight were RR bronze coins and one Spanish AE Semis.

I found over 100 examples of this coin on line, but stopped entering data at 62:

Weight 3.24
Weight - max 4.28
Weight - min 1.88
Weight - avg 2.95
Weight - st dev 0.53
Number 62
Diameter - max 16.1 2.4 mm thick
Diameter - min 15.4
Diameter - max  17.78
Diameter - min 14.00
Diameter - avg 15.57
Diam - st dev 0.82

It is interesting that the 3 major catalogers identify the obverse differently: 
Grueber - Roma in Athenian helmet
Sydenham - Bellona, Roman war goddess
Crawford - Roma in Attic helmet
Sear - Roma in crested Attic helmet

I found another Cr 38/8 with similar patina in LAC Auction 43, lot 164; May 21, 2014.

If anyone has information on this hoard, please let me know. I did not see the hoard from off the Italian Coast mentioned in Crawford's RR Coin Hoards.

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.