Friday, November 15, 2019

Cast Uncia Capis Pedum Vecchi ICC 308

Cast Uncia Capis Pedum

Central Italy, 280 - 260 BC

Mint – Uncertain Central Italy, see below.  
Denomination - AE Cast Uncia
Mint date - 280-260 BC
Obv – Pitcher (also called Jug, Jug with handle, Capis, Oinochoe, Oenochoe, kanne mit Henkel1); pellet (mark of value) to left. Notes 1: pot with handle – English translation of German text
Rev – Shephards crook (also called Pedum, Sistrum, curved club); pellet (mark of value) to left.

31.32 grams, this is the heaviest coin I found in web searches. Only two of 44 coins in Haeberline were heavier.
30.5 X 31.2 X 8.1 mm
RR. Very rare. A superb cast in high relief. Dark green patina. Good VF.

1.       pot with handle – English translation of German text

References, I do not find this coin in Sear, Crawford or Grueber.
Vecchi ICC 308
Vecchi places this coin under Unknown Mints in Central Italy, Central Itallian Issues not in Recobnisable Series, 3rd century BC.
Thurlow & Vecchi, ICC – 223
Vecchi comments that this coin might logically be ascribed to Asculum. He lists it in Uncertain Central Italy, C. 280 – 260BC.
HN Italy – 386, pg 53, HNI notes there is an example in the Museo Archelogico, Chieti
Uncertain Aes Grave, This series are unattributed and can for the most part be dated in only a general way to the first half of the 3rd centure BC.
Sydenham, Aes Grave – 112
Sydenham notes: This coin is assigned to Latium-Campania and grouped in a series with a Lion’s Head As by the editors of the Cat. Mus. Kirch. The arrangement is conjectural.
                Sale cat – 134 & 135, Different types not groups from Latium-Campania.
Haeb. Page 168, 44 examples; pl. 68,23-25. AE.
Haeberline assigns the coins to indeterminate individual communities in Latium or Campania
Garrucci – Pg 23 #6; Plate XLIII #6; Tibur, Latium
Tivoli is a town twenty miles to the east of Rome (Tibur is the ancient name); a summer resort during the Roman empire; noted for its waterfalls
BMC Italy Pg 59, # 32 – 35;
Uncertain Aes Grave of Central Italy, using an the arrangement of Mommsen, Blacas, I, pg. 332 - 343. This coin is in section C, coins of various classes. These coins cannot all be attributed to Central Italy.
Kirchner – page 23, Tavola XI, N.6; Plate Class I, Tavole XI.
I do not see where mint is mentioned. – Note: there is a coin that looks similar in Table Incerte V #8

eem data Hab data Eq As
Weight 31.32 eem data haeb eem coin
Weight - max 31.32 34.2
Weight - min 16.40 20.3
Weight - avg 23.5 24.8 284 298 376
Weight - st dev 3.8 2.9
Number 20 44
Diameter - max 31.2 8.1 thick
Diameter - min
Diameter - max  32.0
Diameter - min 26.0
Diameter - avg 29.9
Diameter - st dev 1.5

I picked up several cast bronze weights, coins and a shell. Clockwise in the picture below are a Semis, Quadrans (sized shell), Seztans and Uncia.

An oenochoe, also spelled oinochoe (Ancient Greek: οἰνοχόη; from Ancient Greek: οἶνος oînos, "wine" and Ancient Greek: χέω khéō, "I pour"; plural oenochoai or oinochoai), is a wine jug and a key form of ancient Greek pottery. See below.

A pedum is a shepherds staff (crook). The pic below shows David holding a sling and pedum.

David: slinging at Goliath -- David, with pedum in left hand, swings sling in right hand. Stone strikes forehead of Goliath, in mail, wearing broad helmet, removing sword from scabbard.
Pierpont Morgan Library. Manuscript. M.638.
Old Testament Published/Created:
Paris, France, ca. 1244-1254.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

An interesting Roman bronze barrel weight collection

An interesting barrel weight collection arrived this week. I bought the lot because it has a one Roman pound weight with AA. I have a few 1 pound weights, see next post, but this one is probably the oldest.

 top row: 1 As, 1 Semis, 1 Semis (oldest)

Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger's pic

Late antique Byzantine. According to Bendall, two of the weights are Roman and 8 of the weights are late Roman to early Byzantine. The earlier weights indicate denominations in VNCIA (ounces). The later weights use Greek letters and monograms. ૪ = OY in monogram, OY is an abbreviation for ΟΥΝΓΓΙΑ = UNCIA or ounce. When paired with ૪ the weight denominations are:
     ૪A = 1 ounce
     ૪B = 2 ounces
      Γ = 3 ounces
     C = 6 ounces, I do not have the symbol to type here.

Lot of 10 bronze barrel weights, 8 inlaid with silver, denominations: 1/8th uncia (ounce) to one Libra (Roman pound).  
See dimensions below. Height = 7 to 33 mm. Diameter = 9 to 43 mm. 
Most have intact silver 

Since the early 1980s in German private collection.

I bought the lot for this one pound weight. The lettering has good silver and the weight (327.7) is very close to the roman pound standard (327.45).

The lot has two half pound weights. I think the second letter on the left is a lower case Zeta, the 6th letter in the Greek alphabet. It would read 6 ounces.
I bought this half pound weight a few years ago. I think it looks better than the two from this lot that were cleaned and retoned (I think).

Wt Gr
Eq Ass
H X D, mm
As or Libra,
12 ounce
32.8 X 43.2
23, 27
6 ounce
26.7 X 34.5

6 ounce
28.5 X 33.9
23, 28
= OY in monogram
3 ounce
20.5 X 26.5
2 ounce
18.9 X 22.5
1 ounce
14.5 X 18.3
23, 33
1 ounce
13.0 X 18.7

½ ounce
11.3 X 15.1

¼ ounce
9.7 X 11.6
1.5 Solidus
1/8 ounce
7.2 X 9.4
Half Solidus
3 Grammata

Greek alphabet

3 ounce

2 ounce, note the odd shaped B

two 1 ounce weights
I read the right one: VN I.

I do not know the symbols on the left.

Two semis weights and a semis coin.
One sextans weight and a sextans coin.

Romano - Byzantine One Pound Weight

I have picked up several weights in 2019. This one is large: 1 As = 1 Libra = 323.8 grams, 56 x 56 mm and interesting. It is hard to tell from pictures where silver is still in the lettering and where most if missing. You can see two scrapes that I suspect were used to remove silver from the letters.
My pic shows lots of details. 

CNG's pic.

Romano - Byzantine One Pound Commercial Weight, 4th-6th centuries. Æ
Obv - Cross flanked by ÎA (some say Î is LI in ligature = one Roman pound or Libra); all within wreath
Rev - Blank.
Cf. Bendall 51.
VF, green-brown surfaces, a few scrapes.
323.8 grams
56 x 56 mm

I like to compare size of weights and coins. 

One pound weight and some smaller (3oz, 2oz & 1oz) weights.

One As shown several ways. The four scale weights are close to a Roman pound of 327 grams. The two one As coins weigh 204 grams and 40 grams.

How do we know what one As or one Libra is in grams. The weight below tells us that there are 72 solidi per Libra. If a gold solidus weighs 4.54 grams, then the As is 327 grams. 

I found this weight online at:

Circa 4th-6th century. Weight of 1 libra or 72 solidi (Brass ('orichalcum'), inlaid with silver and copper, 51x51x13mm, 320.44 g), a thick, square coin-weight with plain edges (as MAH B1), solidus of 4.45 g. Engraved on the top with inscription three lines, -Α / SOL / LXXII, within curved arch highlighted in silver; above to left and right, cross filled in silver; all within square frame of engraved lines enclosing a copper border. Rev. Plain. Bendall 152 var. An impressive and rare piece with gold-brown surfaces. Very fine or better.

From the Eparch Collection, acquired from a private collection in London.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Pegasus Pegasus Cast Semis Crawford 18.2

Anonymous Cast Æ Semis, Pegasus / Pegasus
Rome, 270 BC

Anonymous Cast Æ Semis. Rome, circa 270 BC.
Obv - Pegasus flying right; below, S in retrograde
Rev - Pegasus flying left; below, S
VF; well centered, high profile casting, small casting flaw near top sprew, good style, dark brown patina on obv & a bit lighter on rev
140.7 grams
52.7 X 49.7 X 16.6 mm
12 h

Crawford 18/2
Sear 530
T&V 9
ICC 34
CRR: 16, plate 5 #16
Aes Grave: 44
Sale Cat: #77 (224 grams) & #78
HN Italy 280;
Haeberlin page 84-85, #1-100; plate 35, #7-10
Garrucci page 19; Table XXXIV #2
Kircheriano Table IX #2
BMC Italy page 51 #7

I like having some of the historic books on cast coins. I have all but BMC Italy (it is on order).
 My coin is on the plate from Haeberline that shows the coin. Above the coin is a copy of Sydenham's Aes Grave. The top left book is Kercheriano and bottom left is Garrucci.

I was able to view the coin at Roma's office in London before the auction. After a week in London, my wife and I traveled to the Shetland Islands for Wool Week. My wife knit our WW hats.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Anchor and Trident Cast Sextans

Anchor and Trident Cast Sextans

ICC 297, 280 to 260 BC, Central Italy

This coin is normally described as rare, RR. I did not find many examples on line when looking for similar coins. I remembered this quote:
Cast coins are rare. Even rarer are collectors of cast coins.

It is hard to see details on the Seller's pics of the trident.

My Pics are not any better. It is hard to see the curls of the trident, and they look a bit different than pics in two old cast coin books.

the picture above from Garrucci, Le Monete Dell'Italia Antica, 1885, shows ornate details on the trident in pic #4.

the picture above from L'Aes Grave Del Museo Kircheroiano, 1839, shows ornate details on the trident like the one above, but not on my coin. I suppose that could be troubling. 

Greek Italy.
Cast AE Sextans, uncertain Central Italy, c. 280-260 BC.
Obv - Anchor; two pellets (mark of value) across the field.
Rev - Trident; two pellets (mark of value) across the field.
Catalogers who describe this coin say they can not place it in another series of cast coins or guess where they were produced.  
The coin is not in Crawford, Grueber, Sear, Babalyon or several other books. I did not find it in the British Museum on line, but do not feel good about my searches. It is in Sydenham’s Aes Grave book, but not his larger book on RR coins. I found a dozen examples in web searches. Size and weight data are given below.
My coin:
·         41.76 grams
·         35.9 X 40.3 X 7.3 mm; this coin is a bit thinner and wider than other Sextans I have
·         RR. Very rare.
·         Green patina, blackish spots.
·         About VF.
HN Italy 377.
L'Aes Grave Del Museo Kircheroiano; Plate 35; Incerte Table 1 of 5; #4
Garrucci, Le Monete Dell’ Italia Antica, Pg 23, #4; pl. XLIV, #4; see Note 1 

Haeberline, Pg 164, 38 examples; pl. 68, #1 & 2; avg wt = 35.0 to 69.7 grams
Vecchi, ICC 297; 38.2 to 69.7 grams
T.V. 214
Sydenham Aes Grave; Pg 105; #109;
Sydenham coin collection Sales Catalogue: Pg 8; #132 (37 gr) & #133 (43.2 gr); plate IX – X;

eem data
Hab data
Eq As
Weight - max
Weight - min
Weight - avg
Weight - st dev
note that Haeberline drops the lowest 7 weights, I added them back
note I droped the highest weight (108 grams), it was twice the next highest weight
Diameter - max
Diameter - min
Diameter - max
Diameter - min
Diameter - avg
Diameter - st dev

Note 1: Garrucci gave a weight for this coin, but I could not figure it out even with the help of google translate.
Pesa un' oncia e 22 denari (It weighs an ounce and 22 denier)