Design Orientation

From Haeberlin.

Look at the Bruna and Ariccia fragments of RRC 8/1. If they were struck we would say their die axes were opposite. But for the mold made objects, I guess, we can speak of orientation. Both show the rounded point of the scabbard on one side. Bruna fragment (see below) shows the point of the sword whereas the Ariccia shows the hilt. They both have about as secure a provenience as we get for these types of objects, so we must I suppose imagine a casting process that would allow for this type of reversal. I would also note that that Bruna has a distinctive “outie” spue, where as Ariccia looks smooth(ed?) with no obvious spue.

The both have sort of decorative rounded tips to the scabbard but they are not rendered in very similar manners and the Ariccia shows some sort of fabric or strapping that is not visible on the Bruna. (unless I squint hard then I can see just about anything!). But… let’s bring Ariminum into the discussion…

Milani illustration

I’ve floated the idea in print that the denomination designs of Ariminum’s early cast bronze may be related to the so-called aes signatum (Roman currency bar) designs. In the below images look at the four dot specimens (quadrunx).

From Wildwinds = Vecchi 230.
From Haeberlin

It seems to me that these scabbards also have some cloth/straps associated with them.

What does it mean? No idea. Just needed to escape into the coins for a while.

Update 23 Sept 2022:

Berlin specimen of RRC 494/16.

Notice the strap on the scabbard of the sword Mars holds here.

And just to make this post even more random. Staring at the Ariminum cast coin started to remind me of the ‘daggers’ on the famous Brutus EID MAR coin (RRC 508/3). That cross handle on the left double edged blade has always made it look v different from other representations of blades on the Roman coin series…. Funny coincidence…

One more random thought… Why our how could that notch have been made in the Bruna fragment above? It seems odd…

LO! Update 10/26/21: Notice the dagger/sword/knife/blade with a cross on top on this trophy on a Quinarius of Caesar:

Berlin specimen “RRC Nr. 452/3 (datiert 48-47 v. Chr.); B. Woytek, Arma et Nummi. Forschungen zur römischen Finanzgeschichte und Münzprägung der Jahre 49 bis 42 v. Chr. (2003) 142-151. 558 (Münzstätte in Illyrien, Apollonia?, spätes Frühjahr bis Mitte 48 v. Chr.).”

UPDATE 1-24-23:

Fabatus’ controlmarks (RRC 412/1) help with this iconography too!

Notice three dots on hilt of dagger:

AND strapping system on this sheath:

Last bit of randomness (must get back to teaching prep)… The Capo sale weights + the Milani images + Haeberlin weights and images make clear that this was how some of the Bruna aes signatum left Italy for German collections.

2 thoughts on “Design Orientation”

  1. A couple of possible explanations of the notch may be (i) casting “voids” (air pockets) that created a V shaped weakness that subsequently broke off or (ii) a piece of dirt, stone or other detritus in the mold, or a flaw in the molten alloy blocked the flow into that area creating a V shaped (or conical) area that did not fill.

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