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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Celtic, Barbaric & Tribal Imitative Coins (Moderators: Marcus Aurelius, Lee S)  |  Topic: Schnabelpferd type interesting size variation 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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timka
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« on: December 08, 2020, 03:11:54 pm »

Hi!

From what I understood this celtic type imitates tetradrachms of Phillip II. But there also seems to be a smaller denomination, probably di-drachm. The larger coin on the left is 9g, whereas smaller one is 6,45 g. So, is it celtic didrachm then?, or it is just a much later issue of imitative tetradrachm, which could take place after some sort of 'reform', when celts started minting a bit smaller and debased coins. Your opinions will be much appreciated.

Btw, it seems a small hoard came to the market. Sometimes i see that Schnabelpferds here and there. Very curious and beautiful coin. What an artistic interpretation of the horse!

Thank you for your time.

Z.


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timka
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2020, 03:56:43 pm »

...I came across the same type with dimensions 3g - 19mm on internet. So, this coin is celtic drachm. So, it seems to be logical that I got tetradrachm and didrachm then (but not two tetradrachms of varying weights from earlier and later periods).

...I do enjoy talking to myself on the Forum...excellent getaway for introvert.


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Jonathan
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 12:40:39 pm »

Hi timka,

it is hard to tell what the nominals are if you look at two or three coins only. The weight variation within the same nominal may be as much as 35% or even more if it was struck over a longer period of time. And that's probably also the case of schnabelpferd type generally. The haviest pieces are over 10 grams heavy and the lightest I have seen are about 6 grams heavy. And there are many pieces weighing anything in between the 6 and 10 grams, no clear difference like when you take a picture of the two extremes side by side.

It is also possible that some pieces were contemporarily trimmed. The coin number 2 is smaller but the image of horse is the same size as the one on the first coin. Not identical but same size which indicates it's the same nominal. The same can be said about reverse. Therefore I lean towards same nominal which is for some reason smaller than it should be.

The third coin is a little different. It looks like schnabelpferd. The size is about the same as the second coin but the weight is much smaller which is odd. Again, this might be just another extreme of the same coin type, with worn and re-cut dies. Do you have picture of averse? That might hint something.
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timka
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2021, 05:26:59 pm »

Hi Jonathan,

Thank you for getting back to me on this post.

Since the time I made this post I came across many other examples of celtic drachms of different types in various auctions. So that it should be logical that a drachm of Schnabelpferd type should had existed too. I will try to find a pic of obverse of above drachm-size coin tomorrow.

Concerning didrach -looking coin, i agree with you that it is rather a size variation of tetradrachm, may be from the later pariod.

I also know there is a volume by Lanz about Eastern Celtic Tetradrachms. Unfortunately I dont have this book. I assume this book might have the answers to the questions we are discussing over here.

Thanks,

Z.
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timka
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 01:36:00 am »

...following up on my above post, I would like to let you know that I could not retrieve the obverse of drachm-size coin. I saw it in facebook group, but it is impossible to find something in facebook for the second time. But what I would like to share here is the pic of ingot and instruments from which eastern celts minted the coins. Ingots were сast individually, and then this ingot was pressed/ hammered with dies. Therefore on some coins we still can see the signs of casting like below coin with side protrusion.  

So, my point is that this specific Eastern celt tribe could utilize the dies of the same size for ingots of various weights, ie approximately 10-8g, 6g and 3gr. I  cannot see signs of the trimming on the 6g coin itself. Basically the coins seem to be not trimmed as you mentioned, but instead ingot of various weight was employed  for minting of 6gr coin. Therefore, we can see the horse, or head on obverse of the same size across various denominations from 3 to 10gr. They did no bother preparing various dies for various denomination, they used the same dies for ingots of various weights/denominations. This is what I can observe across various coins of Schnabelpferd type varying from 3rg to 10 gr.


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Jonathan
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2021, 08:47:26 am »

I checked the Lanz collection catalogue and there are only 5 pieces of schnabelpferd type. Their weight varies from 7,88g - 10,58g. The havier pieces above 9 grams are nicer pieces with broader flans and those below 9 grams are more worn with smaller flans. I also checked Pinks calatogue, he mentions a few in range of 6g - 10,58g, and again the nicer pieces are havier. The worn and smaller pieces are lighter.
Dembski's catalogue contains 14 pieces in the range of 6,02g - 10,40g.

The problem is that not all celtic tetradrachms had also drachms minted with them. Another thing is that the coins described in the catalogues were found many years ago without met dets and so they tend to have only higher nominals. The spread of metal detectors meant many new smaller coins have been found recently which might not be known earlier. The positive thing is there is many new coins which may be also new smaller nominals not known before. But before we jump into conclusion on the new nominal, there has to be more than one piece of a kind to prove the theory.

Still, it seems fairly nice coin, I hope some others will pop up so that the theory can be proven Wink.
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timka
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 09:51:34 am »

Jonathan, thank you for your time, and thank you for checking Lanz and Pinks catalogues.

I will try to reach out some people in facebook group in order to find the pics of that drachm. It appeared to be interesting specimen since this type was not published by Lanz. So it is worth to properly list it  here on the Forum at least.
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timka
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 10:02:46 am »

... oh, here it is... I got the pics of that drachm-looking 3g coin...obverse seems to be just part of design indented for a larger coin.


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Jonathan
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2021, 03:30:47 pm »

Hi timka,

thank you for taking the trouble to look for the picture of the obverse. The dies used to strike this coin might be once used for the schnabelpferd big silver coins. Judging by images on the coin the dies must have been in use for a long time till they wore off and were re-cut into similar but different images. It's just an assumption. Do you know if it was found within the area of the schnabelpferd coins occurence?
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timka
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2021, 01:51:15 am »

... yes, they all come from the same area... around Rivne region/Ukraine
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Jonathan
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2021, 02:46:09 am »

Can you post more pics of coins between 3g - 6g with dimensions? And are those irons actually the original irons used to strike the coins on your previous post? It would be very interesting to see the images on them.
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timka
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2021, 08:20:29 am »

...I dont have more coins or pics of the coins with lighter weights.  I will be pay attention on such coins in future if I come across any.

I grabbed those those pics of instruments from local facebook group.  I was said that ingot that is put on irons is exactly the same fabric and weight as Schnabelpferd coins, so that the coins seem to be minted with this instrument. Yes, the irons are coming from the same area.
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Jonathan
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2021, 01:24:08 pm »

That's impressive. There are not many dies known to be found in central Europe. These must be northeasternmost I have seen. It looks like no coincidence that the area is called Galitia.

I wonder if the longer piece is the lower die which used to be anchored in an anvil.
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timka
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2021, 07:49:44 am »

...yes, it was Galitia under Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918... nowadays the term Galitia is also used by locals to broadly name the Carpathian region.  Though this Celt tribe associated with Schnabelpferd type dwelled even further to East from Galitia by about 150- 250 km. 

...I have no idea how the instrument was made up, and how it all worked together...hope your guess is right.

cheers
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