Author Topic: Barbarian imitation?  (Read 990 times)

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Offline AnYangMan

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Barbarian imitation?
« on: February 01, 2016, 09:50:57 PM »
Probably one of the most mysterious coins in my collection. I bought this quite a while back, in the summer of 2009 (Almost sounds like a Bryan Adams song ;)), to be precise. We were on holiday in the picturesque city of Mane, southern France, and while wandering across the lovely market we found this metaldetectorist who was selling some of his finds; nothing too special, most of it of average rarity and in poor quality. The man seemed to be in his 50's and after communicating in some sort of broken, half French-English, we ended up buying a couple of late Roman bronzes in moderate quality, and a Obole from Massalia (3/4th century BC), which was, although a bit corroded, still in nice condition. Anyway, most of these bronzes were AE 3/4 from the late third/early fourth century and easily identifiable. Yet one of these still to this day remains unidentified (see pic). At first I had very little insight in this topic, so the reverse did not seem out of the ordinary. Now, after gaining moderate amounts of knowledge concerning Late Roman bronzes, I can only come to one conclusion; this coin is probably not an official issue, or at least not of any roman mint. The obverse is quite normal and, although the quality is not superb, relatively recognisable; the bust of an emperor from somewhere in the fourth century. Unfortunately the coin is too worn for the inscription to be readable. The reverse is slightly off, compared to 'normal' reverses; it looks like the head of someone laying on top of what is probably supposed to be a horse, but looks more like a donkey to me. The inscription seems to be "CCTIOL", or some variant of that. I've seen no Roman coins that even remotely match with this one, let alone the Inscription, which seems to be gibberish(?). This let me to believe it is some sort of barbarian imitation of a roman coin, although I am definitely not sure. All help is appreciated, am I right in assuming this most likely wasn't an official issue or am I just missing some information? Edit: Dimensions may be handy; 0,39 gram, about 10 MM.




Kind regards,

Mika
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 09:59:15 AM by George_III »

Offline THCoins

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Re: Barbarian imitation?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 06:11:51 PM »
Looked at this thread a few days ago. Was wondering whether someone already offered a clue. Unfortunately not.
Sorry that i also can not be very helpfull. Only thing i can say is that depite the wear this is an attractive coin. I like both the portrait and the reverse, but i can't link it to a known type. Based on the portrait style i would not rule out that this might also be a Byzantine coin, and not a western Roman type.

Offline AnYangMan

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Re: Barbarian imitation?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 08:50:51 PM »
Thanks for the reply! I've lately been looking into Vandals/Ostrogothic issues, but again, no match. Perhaps early Byzantine is an option. The closest to the reverse I got was a Leo I lion, although it does difffer significantly from this 'horse'. Indeed an intriguing coin, so I'm hoping to hear anything more!

Kind regards,

Mika

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Barbarian imitation?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 09:59:48 PM »
The horse reminded me of Byzantine Mauretania. I even thought I'd seen it before, but I found the picture of the coin and the portrait is looking the other way. If you have "The Coin Atlas" by Joe Cribb et. al., look up Algeria. It could be an issue of a later king than Syphax. By the look of it, I wouldn't exclude the Vandal issues discussed under Tunisia either...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.