Monday, May 22, 2017

three new cast bronze pieces

Three new cast bronze pieces arrived today. Two were from a Spanish company and the other from a London company. Two were advertised as Roman and one (the triangular bar) as Iberian.
It was described as:
Lingote Triangular. Siglos I a.C.-I d.C. PREMONEDAS EN HISPANIA. 26,40 grs. AE. Ø 33x12 mm. AB.P-35. MBC.
My poor Spanish converts this to - 
Triangular Ingot from 1st century BC to 1st century AD. I have others that claim to quite a bit older, and look the same. It could be premoney that was traded by weight, bronze stored for use or a votive item. It weighs 1/12th of Roman pound, or the weight of a Uncia.

The middle item is a Roman commercial weight made of cast bronze. It was dated from 1st century BC to 1st century AD. At 56.9 grams it is about 1/6th of a Roman pound or the weight of a Sextans. It is the first piece I have that was described as a Roman Scale Weight. I have seen many late Roman / Byzantine weights. I have seen few that were advertised as BC. If it was intended to weigh a Sextans it's date would have to be earlier... 280 BC or older.

The bottom item is a hollow bronze piece that I have seen described as a seed. This one was advertised as an oval piece, 8.4 grams & 25 X 16 mm. It was from Central Italy and dated more like other cast bronze I have at VI to IV th centuries BC.

The 3 new items fit well into my collection of other cast bronze and lead. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

My cast bronze collection

I took pictures of most of my cast bronze collection today. I am missing a few items, but this is most of it. First are irregular pieces of Aes Rude. These look like they were formed by dropping hot metal in a water bath.

A few other Aes Rude from previous pictures.

The top left tray is mostly cast bronze shells or coins with shells. 
The top right tray is astralagas made from bone, lead, bronze or silver. This tray also has some Roman weights.
The lower group is on a cloth. The top row is Aes Grave coins from left to right. The far right of the top row is: a broken bronze ax and knife; an ax head and some cast bronze shapes. The lower portion of the display is a progression of bronze bar pieces: un marked on left, Ramo Secco in middle and pieces with decorations on right.

RS bar pieces. 

Unmarked bar pieces. The top left is a full cross section. The top right is an irregular shape from a flat plate.

The top two have punch marks, X. One has lines and the others have irregular doodle markings.

The bronze shapes are interesting. I am not sure they are proto-money. They are cast bronze that could have been proto-money, votive offerings (Ref 1), art / decorations or implements. I think the lower right piece is a connecting pin.

A cotter pin from

Bone astragalus are the left column and top two of the second column. The bottom of the second column is a lead astragalus. The third column has a steel yard weight, small bronze astragalus and l larger silver (or silvered) astragalus. The left column has three bronze plumb bob weights. 

Mostly shell pieces here. The top right is a bronze shell and the one below it is lead.

1. Heavy metal in hallowed context, Andreas Murgan in BAR Series 2592