Classical Numismatics Discussion Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 01, 2014, 12:18:37 pm
Search Calendar Login Register

Recent Additions to Forum's Shop


FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  For the New Ancient Coin Collector (Moderators: wolfgang336, cscoppa, Gavignano, Lucas H)  |  Topic: Fourree's & War time issues 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2  All Go Down Print
Author Topic: Fourree's & War time issues  (Read 2182 times)
ickster
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 316



« on: December 02, 2010, 02:42:33 pm »

In one of the recent threads on another board, the debate continues about fourree's (and other plated coins) and their "official" status.  While most agree that fourree's are ancient forgeries, there is the caveat of war time issues.

I was just wondering what these crisis's were that lend themselves to a potential "official" plated coin.  I ask, as it seems some coins have a preponderance of bankers marks to validate the coin. That leads me to speculate that these issues were problematic in their authenticity around the time of issue.

The specific example I'm think of here are the Antony Legionary issues. I have one of the fourree's and have noted many of these coins marked.  Perhaps the Antony/Egyptian treasury was running thin on silver at the time? Speculative, I know, but what are some of the other "war time" issues that follow a similar trend?
Logged
Robert_Brenchley
Comitia Curiata X
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7556

Honi soit qui mal y pense.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 03:10:39 pm »

They probably were short of silver, but they minted debased coin, they didn't produce fourrees. Roman silver became successively debased by emperors doing the same thing. Why would they risk the credibility of the issue by mixing solid coin with fourrees, when there was an established remedy to hand?
Logged

Robert Brenchley

My gallery: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/index.php?cat=10405
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
mwilson603
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1344


« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 05:25:12 pm »

Why would they risk the credibility of the issue by mixing solid coin with fourrees, when there was an established remedy to hand?
It is a fair point you make Robert, but then what is the argument for silvering of coinage?  After all, if the aim was to ensure that credibility of coinage remained, and therefore silver plated coins would risk that credibility, why would the state mint coins which would have looked silver?  As silver coinage was still circulating when silvered coins were minted, what would be the difference between minting a silvered coin, or a silver plated one?  Would much of the population of the roman empire have noticed any difference?
regards
Mark
Logged
ickster
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 316



« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 06:09:30 pm »

Great points to ponder. It looks like I'll need to delve into the metallurgical side of things a bit deeper.

Questions to answer:

a. What was the alloy used for debased coins;
b. Was the material to produce a debased coin on hand/readily available;
c. Was it more expedient to produce a fourree in a rapid fashion at a time of crisis.

That's what I love about this. Always something to learn!
Logged
dougsmit
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1711



WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 10:21:04 pm »

The fact remains that there are certain periods that seemed to produce more plated coins than others and Antony's issues  certainly attracted their share.  I'm not going so far as to suggest that competing factions produced bad coins to discredit the opposition or that any of these are anything more that the lowest level of counterfeits but I'll offer a few coins from the years leading up to Actium that all share a dirty little secret beneath their silver.   When it come to wartime emergencies, this period certainly ranks up there when counting 'funny' coins. 

Logged

Randygeki(h2)
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1877


:D


WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 11:14:57 pm »

Cool fourees Doug

I'll add this one
Logged

cicerokid
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 725


« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 02:55:22 am »


The classic official fouree is the war emergency owl  tetradrachm of Athens minted during the Pelopenesian war.


Cicerokid
Logged

Timeo Danaos afferentem coronas
dougsmit
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1711



WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 07:27:50 am »


The classic official fouree is the war emergency owl  tetradrachm of Athens minted during the Pelopenesian war.


Cicerokid

Yes, but 99% of all fourree owls I have seen have been most certainly not form that Emergency period.  There are thousands of styles of owls since the things were issued for a long time and from several places other than Athens with counterfeiters working overtime.  To be considered as a candidate for being one of the official Emergency coins, a plated owl has to be of one particular style.  Svoronos plated 16 coins (some tetradrachms but more drachms) of the style (I have doubts of one but that is probably my ignorance rather than his error).  When a genuine and certain Emergency coin hits the market, it sells well.  I'd like to show you one but I don't have one and am not likely to change that. 
Logged

Reid Goldsborough
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 660



WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 11:00:26 am »

Here's one. Differing opinions welcomed. Well, not welcomed, really, but tolerated. Maybe.  Smiley



My support: The eye of Athena is large, as with late Classical Owls, and beginning to open up, as happened with the Emergency Issue gold coinage issued about a year earlier, anticipating the fully opened profile eye of Intermediate Style Owls of the fourth century BC.

Some might argue that this is actually an unofficial forgery of an Egyptian Owl. There is that possibility, but saying that would really be mean.

This coin was sold to me as an Emergency Issue Owl by Fred Shore, and while I was pondering the purchase Matt Kreuzer deemed it an Emergency Issue Owl as well, and I respect both of their opinions, recognizing that these are just opinions, learned though they are.

The reality here as with many issues is that there's a paucity of hard evidence, of hoard and die evidence, on which to base such evaluations. It's really just stylistic comparisons, using Svoronos and others.
Logged

oldestcoins.reidgold.com
athenianowlcoins.reidgold.com
alexanderthegreatcoins.reidgold.com
medusacoins.reidgold.com
thracecoins.reidgold.com
ickster
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 316



« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 11:13:03 am »

Hmmmm...I never looked at from the angle of discrediting another issuer.  Amazing how many ways of approaching this there can be. If only we had a time machine.

Awesome collection of fourree's above, and a very enlightening discussion (from a new guys perspective).
Logged
Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Online Online

Posts: 3890



WWW
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 11:33:02 am »

Hmmmm...I never looked at from the angle of discrediting another issuer.  Amazing how many ways of approaching this there can be. If only we had a time machine.

Awesome collection of fourree's above, and a very enlightening discussion (from a new guys perspective).

There's 87 plated coins in my set in the link below, some of which I used to illustrate my webpage on the plated coins:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ahala_rome/sets/72157625323001504/detail/

I don't see the evidence that shows larger numbers during the civil war period. From the eight-seven coins illustrated above just three (!) are imperatorial issues struck outside Rome from the Caesar/ Pompey/ Antony/ Octavian civil wars, and just two of these (Cr 460/2 Metellus Scipio and Cr 509 Cornuficius) are copies of regular coin types, and one of these two I think may have been struck by Cornuficius under siege situations.

I know the coins I illustrate are hardly a scientific example but if anything the imperatorial issues are underrepresented than the other way around. Plated Antony legionary denarii are rather rare. Debased legionarys are common.

The reason the legionary denarii have so many chop-marks may not be because of suspicion of plating, but because they were not withdrawn in Nero's recoinage and thus circulated very much longer and got very much more worn than many Roman Republican types, and passed via many more nummularii.
Logged

Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Online Online

Posts: 3890



WWW
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 11:42:47 am »

The fact remains that there are certain periods that seemed to produce more plated coins than others and Antony's issues  certainly attracted their share.  I'm not going so far as to suggest that competing factions produced bad coins to discredit the opposition or that any of these are anything more that the lowest level of counterfeits but I'll offer a few coins from the years leading up to Actium that all share a dirty little secret beneath their silver.   When it come to wartime emergencies, this period certainly ranks up there when counting 'funny' coins. 



Very nice set Doug. As noted above I don't see the higher proportion of plated coins you cite. Of the coins you illustrate, the Lentulus Spint is definitely irregular - apart from the general style see the jug with its slanted decoration unlike any official coin (compare some examples below).
Logged

ickster
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 316



« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 11:44:25 am »

That does indeed make sense: Longer circulation = more chances of getting marked.

Here is my Legionairy. Dirty, but I'm not touching it in fear of causing more damage to it than has already occured. I've only seen a couple of these fourrree's in my hun for legionairies, but I haven't had near the experience as most here. It's great to learn they are not that common.
Logged
ickster
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 316



« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 11:46:59 am »

I used to illustrate my webpage on the plated coins:

I have indeed read this dissertation. I frequent your site quite a bit. Many thanks for all the work you put in there.
Logged
Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Online Online

Posts: 3890



WWW
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 12:04:49 pm »

The fact remains that there are certain periods that seemed to produce more plated coins than others and Antony's issues  certainly attracted their share.  I'm not going so far as to suggest that competing factions produced bad coins to discredit the opposition or that any of these are anything more that the lowest level of counterfeits but I'll offer a few coins from the years leading up to Actium that all share a dirty little secret beneath their silver.   When it come to wartime emergencies, this period certainly ranks up there when counting 'funny' coins. 



Very nice set Doug. As noted above I don't see the higher proportion of plated coins you cite. Of the coins you illustrate, the Lentulus Spint is definitely irregular - apart from the general style see the jug with its slanted decoration unlike any official coin (compare some examples below).

.. continued (due the limit of 5 pics per post):

I don't think the Antony/Octavian is of perfectly official style either. See two examples of the same type below for comparison, note the lack regularity of the lettering on the plated coin e.g. the III on the Octavian side with each progressive I a little longer, as well as the curious Octavian portrait with the tiny snub nose and lacking the typical chubby high cheeks, the curve on Antony's nose, the V of III VIR R.P.C. doesn't look like a regular letter, etc.

Some of these features might be found on a solid silver coin, and even occasional true die-matches don't prove anything as malpractice at the mint may account for some plated coins. The Silanus issue looks good style though the examples I have to hand show the lettering very close into Antony's head. One can't tell anything from the Octavian/Agrippa or the Julius Caesar in the following post due to their condition. The Nasidius looks convincing though examples shown below have much more regular lettering than the plated coin. In short nothing tells me that any of these issues were struck by the purported issuers.

An analysis that might show that a given issue has a much higher than regular proportion of plated pieces, and these struck from dies shared with real pieces, might be convincing proof that the plated coins were issues alongside the real coins. For virtually all issues that evidence does not exist, but it does seem to exists for the Cornuficius where five out of 15 examples known of one type are plated, and from the same dies as the 10 solid silver pieces. In that case I can well believe that the plated coins were  struck by Cornuficius.

I'm not disputing that some wartime plated issues might have been by the Imperators themselves. I just haven't seen much evidence, except in specific rare cases.
Logged

Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Online Online

Posts: 3890



WWW
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 12:08:56 pm »

That does indeed make sense: Longer circulation = more chances of getting marked.

Here is my Legionairy. Dirty, but I'm not touching it in fear of causing more damage to it than has already occured. I've only seen a couple of these fourrree's in my hun for legionairies, but I haven't had near the experience as most here. It's great to learn they are not that common.

ickster, that's a nice find. Plated legionaries are not especially common (though Doug notes that they attracted their fair share of plated coins). My guess (just a guess) is that the whole world knew them to be of lesser quality silver so the forgers perhaps avoided them as they were types that anyway were subject to close inspection. But I don't know.
Logged

ickster
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 316



« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2010, 12:21:50 pm »

Thanks for the nice comment! It makes sense. Why produce a plated coin if it's more likel to be inspected?

BTW: I love the last 2 coins above. Being a Navy man, I'm very drawn to coins with nautical themes. I may have to focus on this area in the future.
Logged
Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Online Online

Posts: 3890



WWW
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2010, 12:29:22 pm »

Thanks for the nice comment! It makes sense. Why produce a plated coin if it's more likel to be inspected?

BTW: I love the last 2 coins above. Being a Navy man, I'm very drawn to coins with nautical themes. I may have to focus on this area in the future.

Thanks but don't over-rely on my word - that was just a guess from me as regards what I said about legionaries. I try to distinguish between things we know - from inspection of coins, individually, in aggregate and in hoards  - and just plain guesses. Guesses can be pretty unreliable, and I was guessing..

The Nasidius is a nice coin type. The less-shiny one is mine, but it's still a nice coin.
Logged

Robert_Brenchley
Comitia Curiata X
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7556

Honi soit qui mal y pense.


WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2010, 12:32:00 pm »

Am I right in thinking that the evidence for the offical Emergency fourrees is one sentence in Arisophanes' 'Frogs'?
Logged

Robert Brenchley

My gallery: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/index.php?cat=10405
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
ancientone
Comitia Curiata
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1223



« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2010, 12:43:04 pm »

I always thought this looked somewhat official. 
Logged

Reid Goldsborough
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 660



WWW
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2010, 12:55:37 pm »

Am I right in thinking that the evidence for the offical Emergency fourrees is one sentence in Arisophanes' 'Frogs'?

Aristophanes also referred to these coins in his play The Women's Council (The Assemblywomen).

As you no doubt know, there's very, very little surviving ancient documentation or commentary about any coinage, and when it appears, like this, it's given importance. Too much importance? Some have argued this. But I don't think so. There are no other coins that Aristophanes could have been referring to.

Along with these two literary references, the history also argues for the reality of official plated Owls, not only what was happening with Athens and the closing of its silver mines at Laurion by Sparta but also similar actions that other powers have engaged in under similar circumstances, hence the term "siege money."

Logged

oldestcoins.reidgold.com
athenianowlcoins.reidgold.com
alexanderthegreatcoins.reidgold.com
medusacoins.reidgold.com
thracecoins.reidgold.com
rover1.3
Tribunus Plebis 2012 / Procurator Monetae
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1783



« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2010, 01:40:48 pm »

The reality here as with many issues is that there's a paucity of hard evidence, of hoard and die evidence, on which to base such evaluations. It's really just stylistic comparisons, using Svoronos and others.

I suppose fourree's are particularly interesting to people with a strong interest in the economical history,and i am definitely not one of them.I like ancient coins mainly because of their art,and i like to think of them more as works of art,instead of just what they really are:Coins  Smiley

Having said that,i give extra credit to stylistical factors,and yes,i can see the similarities of late classical owls of the period with the plated owl posted by Reid.
In general,i trust stylistic comparisons very much.Such approach reflects my way of thinking better.



Logged
Robert_Brenchley
Comitia Curiata X
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7556

Honi soit qui mal y pense.


WWW
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2010, 02:12:37 pm »

If they were minting coin during the siege, they'd have had problems. But did they? The owl was a universally used trade coin, but there was no trade with the city during the siege, so quite possibly no need for new-minted coin. How long did the siege last?
Logged

Robert Brenchley

My gallery: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/index.php?cat=10405
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
Jay GT4
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3459


Leave the gun, take the Canoli!


« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2010, 03:09:03 pm »

Personally, and I have no proof, I believe Antony and Octavian sanctioned (perhaps quietly) the use of fouree's.  Threre are far too many of them after caesar's death.  I know the debat continues about official dies and style but it is just my own personal belief.  Here are two of mine from the time period, the Fulvia is exquisit in style (unfortunately it's been lost or stolen):

Logged

My Gallery: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/index.php?cat=18312
 "Antony, that revels long o' nights"
My site: www.artisan-flooring.com
ickster
Consul
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 316



« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2010, 09:28:48 pm »

Just back from sea, so I missed the last few posts here. Some great food for thoughts and some fantastic coins.  Great to see another Legionary fourree.

Jay: Is that an iron core on the Antony? There are not many of those around.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All Go Up Print 
FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  For the New Ancient Coin Collector (Moderators: wolfgang336, cscoppa, Gavignano, Lucas H)  |  Topic: Fourree's & War time issues « previous next »
Jump to:  

Recent Price Reductions in Forum's Shop


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 1.417 seconds with 73 queries.