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Author Topic: Help ID Roman medal  (Read 388 times)

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Offline Tanit

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Help ID Roman medal
« on: October 15, 2021, 08:33:03 am »
Hello

Does anyone have any idea about the identity of the emperor depicted on this medal or brooch. Do you think it is a medal from Roman times or from modern times.
40 mm ; 22.2 g.

Thanks for your help

Offline otlichnik

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2021, 05:23:12 pm »
Unfortunately, this is a almost certainly a modern fantasy fibula (brooch) based roughly on a mid- to late-4th century bust.

Fairly decent effort put into the fake patina compared to many cheap fantasy items.

SC

SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Tanit

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2021, 05:59:49 am »
Unfortunately, this is a almost certainly a modern fantasy fibula (brooch) based roughly on a mid- to late-4th century bust.

Fairly decent effort put into the fake patina compared to many cheap fantasy items.

SC

This medal was found underground. Here is another photo taken in sunlight. We can see that the patina is not artificial. The medal was all black and was heavily cleaned. The medal is surely old. But from what time. That's the question.

Offline Tanit

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2021, 06:09:42 am »
Here is the photo of the reverse

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2021, 06:49:07 am »
I agree with Shawn that this "medal" doesn't look ancient.
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Offline djmacdo

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2021, 07:33:28 am »
The incuse lines defining the portrait are not an ancient technique.  Did you find it yourself?  There is an old collectors' axiom: "Buy the coin, not the story."

Offline Tanit

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2021, 08:37:41 am »
The incuse lines defining the portrait are not an ancient technique.  Did you find it yourself?  There is an old collectors' axiom: "Buy the coin, not the story."

I agree that this is not from a very old era but it is also not a modern fake. I think it may be from the 19th century. The medal was initially covered with a completely black patina. Whoever found it thought he was doing the right thing by cleaning it up. The result is a massacre.

Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2021, 08:57:49 am »
The 19th century is modern, old but not ancient.
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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2021, 09:33:57 am »
While I have never seen this exact item, very similar items - round fibulae with busts and other "antiquities" were common fake/fantasy items in central European markets.  They came from Bulgarian and or Serbian organized groups.

They also used fake patinas.

Not saying it absolutely is one of those but the similarities are striking.

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(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Tanit

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2021, 10:27:28 am »
Here is a brooch of the same style from the 5th-6th century

Offline otlichnik

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2021, 08:58:36 am »
Despite the slight similarities in appearance there are huge differences between the two items from a mechanical perspective. 

The lower one appears to be struck.  The design is raised above the fields because it was struck from a die or a matrix with the design engraved in reverse.  This was the way almost all Roman coins were made as well as many other decorative items - belt parts, harness parts, furniture studs, etc.

The original item appears to be directly hand made - the design is formed by engraving, or chasing, - removing thin lines of metal to create a design. I can't tell from the image whether any of the design is actually raised above the fields - it doesn't look it in the photo.  As djmacdo noted this is not really an ancient technique.  It was used sometimes for plastic (that is 3-D) items created via the lost-wax casting method.  The lines were engraved on the wax model.  But the Roman simply didn't carve metal away from the actual final piece whereas this is common for makers of fake antiquities - at least in central and east Europe where I have some experience.

SC
SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Tanit

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Re: Help ID Roman medal
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2021, 05:25:47 am »
Thank you for these explanations. But in my opinion, looking at the attached photo, the technique used in image 1 looks more like that of image 2 than that of image 3 which is a hand made chiseled plate.
By the way this medal or brooch was not purchased. It's a metal detector find. Initially it was completely green and black like image 2 but it was unfortunately cleaned.
Based on the region where it was found it is possible that this is a vandal brooch. Image 2 is of a visigoth brooch.

 

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