FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board

Numism => Reading For the Advanced Collector => Topic started by: Potator II on August 24, 2010, 02:02:55 pm



Title: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: Potator II on August 24, 2010, 02:02:55 pm
Hi all,

I've had this Claudius As for decades now.

(http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11724/normal_0060-310np_noir.jpg)
Claudius As minted in Rome (?), AD 41-42
TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, Bare head of Claudius left
CONSTANTIAE AVGVSTI, Constantia helmeted standing left holding spear, SC in field
10,84 gr
Ref : RCV #1857, Cohen #14

Looking at it the other day with Pscipio and Alwin, while at home, they both found it has a weird appearance for an official strike.

I remember having been intrigued by this one since I have it in my collection because of the very different portrait from those usually seen of Claudius and finding similarities to those of Nero Claudius Drusus instead.

I also remember that thread about Claudius Asses where Steve Minnoch had the same feeling as my two friends :
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=43174.0

So the question is : could it be a strike from a branch mint in Spain, or from another provenance ?
Do some of you have an opinion about it ?

Thanks all for your input
Potator


Title: Re: Claudius As, branch mint from Spain ?
Post by: *Alex on August 24, 2010, 03:56:00 pm

So the question is : could it be a strike from a branch mint in Spain, or from another provenance ?
Do some of you have an opinion about it ?

Potator

The largest number of Claudian copies, of varying competence, seem to have been produced by the army in post invasion Britain. John Reece and Richard Casey (Coins and the Archaeologist) make the point that a force of 40,000 legionaries and auxiliaries would required a mass of coinage which would, even apart from the logistical difficulties, have been difficult to provide in the early invasion period. Until A.D.41 the mints of Rome and Lugdunum had been hard at work minting for the army (and Spain had helped with its civic coinages too) but all except Rome had stopped by now. The Rome mint did produce an enormous amount of aes in Claudius' first year, but most of this went to the Rhine. Reece and Casey estimate that the army in Britain would have required an amount equal to some 8,500,000 asses for each of its four monthly payment installments. Obviously this sum was not made up solely of asses but the numbers of these coins required must still have been considerable. The area of circulation of these copies seems to be regional, they appear to have been struck to augment whatever official coinage was available.

Alex.


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: Potator II on August 27, 2010, 02:15:08 pm
Sorry to "bump",

but despite the very intersting and contributive comment from Alex, I would really like to have further informations about the provenance and legitimacy of this coin.

NB : I just changed the title of the thread in case any of you might be more inspired

Thanks a lot
Potator


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: dltcoins on August 27, 2010, 02:58:33 pm
This informative page, including references for further reading, is a good place to start:

http://esty.ancients.info/imit/imitclaudius.html#good%20style (http://esty.ancients.info/imit/imitclaudius.html#good%20style)


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: curtislclay on August 27, 2010, 05:57:03 pm
Potator,

Definitely NOT mint of Rome.

Definitely NOT any of the three branch mints, clearly official, that produced large issues of sestertii, and some middle bronze too, two of which Laffranchi pointed out in his important article of 1948, while I discovered the third myself in my work on Claudius, which began as a Numismatic Chronicle review of von Kaenel's Münzprägung des Claudius.

That is, a Spanish mint, which furnished all of the sestertii and dupondii in the Pobla de Mafumet hoard; a Gallic mint, whose sestertii were often countermarked PROB; and a fine-style mint, my discovery, perhaps located in the Po valley.

I think your As belongs to another major series, doubtless also official, which included mainly asses. But I haven't really studied these series that don't include sestertii.

There is an important article on Claudian bronzes of western provincial style in Revue Numismatique of around 2004, which might cover your coin. I have looked at the text online, but the plates are NOT online so I don't know what exact series and styles it deals with.

I think the major cause of the branch mint production and imitations in bronze under Claudius was not his invasion of Britain in 43, but his attempt to restrike as much of Caligula's coinage as possible in 41 AD. That's why virtually all of the branch-mint coins and imitations omit P P, so ought to have been produced before Jan. 42 when Claudius accepted that title.


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: *Alex on August 28, 2010, 10:55:18 am
I think the major cause of the branch mint production and imitations in bronze under Claudius was not his invasion of Britain in 43, but his attempt to restrike as much of Caligula's coinage as possible in 41 AD. That's why virtually all of the branch-mint coins and imitations omit P P, so ought to have been produced before Jan. 42 when Claudius accepted that title.

Although on the face of it this makes sense, Casey and Reece, aware that none of the copies had the P P in their legends, state that the second great coinage of A.D.42 is little seen north of the Alps - for example, 11 out of 259 coins found at Vindonissa, 2 out of 86 found at Camulodunum and 1 out of 17 found at Silchester. They thought that the reason that the copies were all modelled on the first issue is because, due to the dearth of new Aes available in Britain, in time the initial range of copies was itself taken to provide models. This would also account for the wide range of weights and degree of artistic competence found in these copies. It does though have to be said, that the most prolific British examples are of the "Minerva" type asses, the "Libertas" and "Constantia" types are much less common so this may or may not help in relation to Potator's coin whose origins I do not know.

I have scanned the relevant page of illustrations (all Minerva types) fom Casey & Reece's book to illustrate the variations in artistic style found among the copies I am referring to.
Hope this sheds some light, if not on Potator's coin, on some of the other contemporary copies of Claudius issues that anyone might come across.

Alex.


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: cliff_marsland on August 28, 2010, 02:44:12 pm
Potator's is a nice example, and I'm very curious about the outcome as well. 

I've been curious about one of my Claudius Asses.  I could be mistaken, but the obverse reminds me of plate #49 on the plate above.

(http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/albums/userpics/24073/claudius123__lightened.jpg)

 Claudius As RIC 97
OBV:
TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, bare head left. Reverse -

Rx: LIBERTAS AVGVSTA, Libertas standing facing with pileus, extending left hand, SC in fields.

RIC 97. 27mm, 11.6g. A bit problematic - obverse off center, some encrustation, a bit of corrosion and a few scratches.

I'm also curious to see more of the Po valley examples.


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: Potator II on August 29, 2010, 04:12:24 am
That is VERY interesting. Thanks all for your input. I begin to see more clearly, if not where my coin comes from, at least the context in which all those were produced. I find the portrait on Cliff's example not that far from mine in style

Regards
Potator


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: *Alex on August 29, 2010, 04:59:34 am
Potator, Curtis,

For further information, "The Claudian coinage by Robert Kenyon"  is worth investigating. Kenyon is mentioned by Reece and Casey as being of great help to them in their own publication.
 
Robert Kenyon's publication is on a pdf file that you can download from the Colchester Archaeological Trust. It is a large file (87.4MB) but I am sure that you will find it of interest.

The link to the download is below.

http://cat.essex.ac.uk/summaries/CAR-0004.html

Right click on the heading "Colchester Archaeological Report 4" then "Save Link as .... Adobe Acrobat Document".

The Claudian coin text begins on page 24. The plates of the Claudian coins begin on page 100.
To my eyes the obverse of number 11 on page 101 looks very similar to that on Potator's coin. It is though, the ubiquitous Minerva reverse.

Alex.


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: Arminius on August 29, 2010, 07:19:31 am
Thanks for sharing these infos!


Title: Re: Claudius As, official or... ?
Post by: Roma_Orbis on August 30, 2010, 03:15:04 am
There is an important article on Claudian bronzes of western provincial style in Revue Numismatique of around 2004, which might cover your coin.

Here is the link to the article by P.A. Besombes (curator at the BN) and J.N. Barrandon (CNRS):
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/numi_0484-8942_2000_num_6_155_2281

Unfortunately, the plates are still unavailable (copyright issue).

Jérôme