RRC 407

Hoards closing before 50 BCE which contain either 407/1 (blue) or 407/2 (yellow) or both (green).

I made the above map using data from Lockyear’s CHRR and Google Earth Projects. You can view the map in Google Earth.

Again thanks to seeing specimens side by side in a print catalogue I find myself asking questions.

Link to top specimen, link to bottom specimen

The styles are so different.

No serrations and small head with stephane (407/2) and large head, no stephane, serrated (407/1).

Were they produced at the same mint at the same time?!

The above map was my first stab at seeing if they might have had different distributions in antiquity. One explanation is that the serrated issue was just taking too long to produce and at one point in the production process the serrations were abandoned. But… I’m still suspicious.

If I graph CRRO specimens with reported die axis above you see the strong 6/12 tendency of 407/1, the serrated issue. I’m not 100% sure I trust this data though. All but one of the specimens with a 12 oclock axis are in the Fitzwilliam. I worry a data entry person wasn’t checking the coins, but simply filling 12 automatically. Stuff happens.

I’m more convinced we need to throw out the Fitzwilliam die axis data after graphing 407/1 (no serrations, small head). See below. Here there is not a single 12 oclock die axis reported by another collection.

What do I make of this? The fact that both have a strong 6 oclock die access might be a point in favor of their actually being produced at the same mint, but we all know the Roman mint wasn’t so keen on controlling die axes. To do this properly I’d have to also do all the specimens in the Schaefer archive.

I don’t have a theory yet but it is odd…

P.S. While you’re here note that the date for these two types is likely c. 64 BCE (So Hollstein endorsing Hersh and Walker based on Mesange hoard), not 68 BCE as in Crawford.

RRC 407/1

RRC 407/2

Update 1/17/19:

A colleague reminds me of this rare type published by P. Debernardi, “Some Unlisted Varieties and Rare Dies in Roman Republican Coinage”, NC 2010 and that this type suggests all were produced at the same mint. There are two obverse dies of small head, crown, serrated.

Link to specimen

Another specimen of the same variant

3rd specimen,

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