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Author Topic: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin  (Read 283 times)

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Offline PtolemAE

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Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« on: July 23, 2022, 05:08:42 pm »
It's bronze, 27mm, 6h, and 16.3 grams. Seemingly a 'Magna Graecia' Italian coin type. Obverse 'laureate Zeus' facing right and reverse is an open-wing eagle on thunderbolt facing left with inscription 'thoyrion' at left. The only reference I have for it is 'Garucci Plate 107-3' and haven't found a coin quite like this on other sites. What caught my eye was the 'Ptolemaic-looking' reverse. I hope someone knows more about this type, where other specimens might be compared, and something about the approximate dating and situation of its issue. Hazarding a wild guess it might be from mid-3rd C. BC. Maybe there's an HN Italy reference or it can be found in an SNG that covers Lucania, Thurium in someone's library or someone knows more about the Garucci book (title?). The pics here show it pretty well but higher resolution images available.

Thank you,

PtolemAE

Update - Managed to find one other specimen - New York Sale, 2006, Lot 17. From the 'Moretti Collection'

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2022, 04:13:51 am »
Quote from: PtolemAE on July 23, 2022, 05:08:42 pm
... or someone knows more about the Garucci book (title?). ...
Garrucci is Raffaele Garrucci, "Le monete dell'Italia antica", Rome 1885. Plate 107 number 3 can be seen here :): https://archive.org/details/lemonetedellital00garr/page/n411/mode/2up
A rather poor description can be found on page 143: https://archive.org/details/lemonetedellital00garr/page/142/mode/2up

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2022, 04:33:42 am »
Quote from: PtolemAE on July 23, 2022, 05:08:42 pm
... and haven't found a coin quite like this on other sites. ...
The British Museum has a specimen: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/C_1908-1206-1

On Magna Graecia Coins this type is mentioned: http://www.magnagraecia.nl/coins/Lucania_map/Thurii_map/Thurii.html (last but one) and dated with "218-201 BC (2nd Punic War)". There are no further references besides Garrucci and BMC.

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2022, 08:47:12 am »
I found two more references :):

Giuseppe Fiorelli, "Monete inedite - 2. Thurium in Lucania", Annali di numismatica 1, Rome 1846, p. 22, plate I, 11:
https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb10684763?q=%28Annali+di+numismatica%29&page=22,23 (text)
https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb10684763?q=%28Annali+di+numismatica%29&page=256,257 (plate)

C. Cavedoni, "Due monete di Thurium di riscontro ad un luogo controverso di Strabone", Bullettino dell'Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica per l'anno 1847, pp. 186-87: http://opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de/title/3255294/ft/bsb10256523?page=190

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2022, 09:28:11 am »

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2022, 12:03:51 pm »
Quote from: PtolemAE on July 23, 2022, 05:08:42 pm
... or someone knows more about the Garucci book (title?). ...
Garrucci is Raffaele Garrucci, "Le monete dell'Italia antica", Rome 1885. Plate 107 number 3 can be seen here :): https://archive.org/details/lemonetedellital00garr/page/n411/mode/2up
A rather poor description can be found on page 143: https://archive.org/details/lemonetedellital00garr/page/142/mode/2up

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Altamura

thank you - another thread to track down is the description refers to Fiorelli 'annals of numismatics' 11. Alas the size and weight of this particular specimen aren't given.

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2022, 12:27:31 pm »
Quote from: PtolemAE on July 23, 2022, 05:08:42 pm
... Update - Managed to find one other specimen - New York Sale, 2006, Lot 17. From the 'Moretti Collection' ...
That's this one: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=278115

Two more are these:
https://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=1999035&AucID=4753&Lot=17&Val=f671093e975f61aaac013ce62226536a
https://www.sixbid-coin-archive.com/#/de/single/l35006937?text=thurium%20eagle

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Altamura

Thank you for all this additional information.

The last one cited is the same coin as the first one. Apparently that coin was offered in 2001 and again at the New York Sale in 2006. I don't know if it actually sold on either occasion.

The middle one is also of interest as it is very recent - just a few months ago - with a good picture and coin data. Its auction record indicates it sold.

Mine turned up in early 2021, also not long ago.

I'm now aware, then, of the BM specimen and the Garucci (Fiorelli) coin, wherever it is, in published collections, both known from over a hundred years ago.  I'm told the BM specimen is also the one illustrated in Hoover and Rutter (HN Italy). Then there are three from relatively recent commerce. Not a lot of specimens given the time span covered by the auction records - three in the past 20 years. Maybe there are more in other museum collections or reference books or misidentified in some other sales records. The person who sold my coin had no idea what it was. A friend with Hoover's book reported the type is 'R1' in that reference (common) so we should know of many more specimens.

There might be reason to re-examine the presumed dating - ca. 210 BC - that appears to be based on its similarity to the very common smaller 'Brettii' bronzes with eagle/thunderbolt reverse that are thought to be from that time. The Thurium coin seems much more scarce than the small Brettii bronzes and closely resembles another scarce issue of Locri Epizephyrii of like size.

PtolemAE
 

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2022, 02:56:06 am »
Quote from: PtolemAE on July 24, 2022, 12:03:51 pm
... another thread to track down is the description refers to Fiorelli 'annals of numismatics' 11. ...
I would say this is the Fiorelli reference I gave above (coin number 11 on plate I) :). As far as I have found there are only two volumes of these "Annali di numismatica".

Quote from: PtolemAE on July 24, 2022, 12:27:31 pm
... The last one cited is the same coin as the first one. ...
Oops. you are right, I haven't seen that :-\.

Quote from: PtolemAE on July 24, 2022, 12:27:31 pm
... There might be reason to re-examine the presumed dating - ca. 210 BC - that appears to be based on its similarity to the very common smaller 'Brettii' bronzes with eagle/thunderbolt reverse ...
In the two articles by Fiorelli and Cavedoni cited above they try to give an explanation and rough dating of this type (at least as I understood the result of the translator; it has to be interpreted a bit and I don't speak Italian :-\).

By using the link to the Cavedoni article you can klick on the button "OCR-Text anzeigen" to get the text in machine readable form to be pasted into a translator.
For the Fiorelli article you can use this representation for doing the same: http://opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de/title/8785498/ft/bsb10684763?page=22

The coin seems to be quite far away from being common, it's a very interesting find :).

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2022, 02:25:21 pm »

...

In the two articles by Fiorelli and Cavedoni cited above they try to give an explanation and rough dating of this type (at least as I understood the result of the translator; it has to be interpreted a bit and I don't speak Italian :-\).

By using the link to the Cavedoni article you can klick on the button "OCR-Text anzeigen" to get the text in machine readable form to be pasted into a translator.
For the Fiorelli article you can use this representation for doing the same: http://opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de/title/8785498/ft/bsb10684763?page=22

The coin seems to be quite far away from being common, it's a very interesting find :).

Regards

Altamura

Thank you. The old Italian references analyzing possible dating give little to go on.

It's surprising that Hoover lists this type as R1, as I agree with you it seems to be far from a common coin. There are lots of Thurium coins including bronzes that appear regularly in sales and are in many collections. This coin crossed my path quite accidentally and I saw something interesting and am happy have it to study. Otherwise I'd have to wait possibly ten years or more to see another one.

It doesn't 'fit' the usual Thurium design patterns and I suspect was issued for a very brief period, in small numbers and for some specific reason. The reverse style is nearly identical to a similar 'southern Italian' bronze coin of Locri Epizephirii of the same size and also with 'laureate zeus' obverse. That related type is also said to be from late 3rd C.

It's possible both could be from the period of the 2nd Punic war, but maybe not. I suspect they are earlier.

PtolemAE

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2022, 09:36:18 pm »
Here are photos of the somewhat similar coin issued by Locri Epizefirii (aka Lokri Epizephyrii). The data are: 25mm - 27.5mm, 15.4 g, 7h.

There's a quite recent reference (Spinelli is 2019) in addition to the HN information on this one. Hope to get that and read up on it soon.

Spinelli Group XII 10 (D4/R10) HN Italy 2379

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2022, 07:08:46 am »
For the somewhat similar coin of Bruttium, the Rutter HN Italy reference #2379 Locri should be HN Italy #2401 (photo attached). 

Your Thurium specimen matches one coin in HN Italy, #1933, which is indeed the same as the BMC coin, as cited by Altamura.
Rutter links it to the Second Punic war period and issues of the Bretti, specifically #1942, which has a smaller flan and its legend wraps around to the right.   Interesting that such similar coins are issued by two cities.  Just a guess, but perhaps the attribution to Lokri is the error, and we'll find more similarly mistaken examples of this coin.
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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2022, 12:54:42 pm »
For the somewhat similar coin of Bruttium, the Rutter HN Italy reference #2379 Locri should be HN Italy #2401 (photo attached). 
What troubles me is that Rutter's reference cites SNG ANS 550-1, which isn't the same coin! 

Your Thurium specimen matches one coin in HN Italy, #1933, which is indeed the same as the BMC coin, as cited by Altamura.
Rutter links it to the Second Punic war period and issues of the Bretti, specifically #1942, which has a smaller flan and its legend wraps around to the right.   Interesting that such similar coins are issued by two cities.  Just a guess, but perhaps the attribution to Lokri is the error, and we'll find more similarly mistaken examples of this coin.

Hello Anaximander -

I believe the HN2379 Locri ref of my coin is correct - note it has the cornucopia at left *and* letter PHI near the eagle's tail. Its attribution to Lokri is OK based on the clear LOKRON inscription at left. I believe HN2400 is similar but has the letter PHI above the wing at right.  There's a good photo of one that appeared in an auction not too long ago.

The picture shown of here of HN2401 doesn't clearly show the inscription or added letter or symbol or size/weight so I'm not sure about it - though its obverse head faces left like the other related Lokri types. That said, I hope to review all this in the newer Spinelli book.

Thank you,

PtolemAE








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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2022, 03:40:25 pm »
For the sake of clarity, attached is the photo of HN Italy #2379 to which I referred.  Rutter cites SNG Cop. #1884, which is a proper match to HN Italy #2379.

Both HN Italy #2379 and #2401 are described simply as "Oxford" meaning the Ashmolean Museum, citing no weight or diameter, but neither appear in my copy of SNG Ashmolean, Part II (London, 1969).  SNG Ashmolean Part II doesn't appear to have many (or any?) bronze coins. 

These references are all quite dated, so a newer one may indeed help.

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2022, 07:24:55 am »
Sorry to bang on about your brilliant find (a restraining order cannot be all that far away), but have a look at the SNG Cop. version of your coin's "twin" in Locri, Bruttium.  Once again the lettering is unclear -it's a PDF of a bad photo of a plaster cast- but the cataloguers see ΛΟΚΡΩΝ and both the cornucopiae and PHI that you mentioned, with :Greek_Phi: moved to above the wing.
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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2022, 01:14:28 pm »
Sorry to bang on about your brilliant find (a restraining order cannot be all that far away), but have a look at the SNG Cop. version of your coin's "twin" in Locri, Bruttium.  Once again the lettering is unclear -it's a PDF of a bad photo of a plaster cast- but the cataloguers see ΛΟΚΡΩΝ and both the cornucopiae and PHI that you mentioned, with :Greek_Phi: moved to above the wing.

Thank you. I've seen clear photos one of those Locri coins also sold on an auction you can find in CNG's 'research' area, with the PHI above the wing, and I believe it listed as HN 2401. The one I have has the PHI near the tail and the ref is reportedly HN2379 but I suspect a possible misprint - maybe HN2399?

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2022, 01:16:52 pm »
Sorry to bang on about your brilliant find (a restraining order cannot be all that far away), but have a look at the SNG Cop. version of your coin's "twin" in Locri, Bruttium.  Once again the lettering is unclear -it's a PDF of a bad photo of a plaster cast- but the cataloguers see ΛΟΚΡΩΝ and both the cornucopiae and PHI that you mentioned, with :Greek_Phi: moved to above the wing.

You can see clear photos of one of these in the CNG 'research' area, with PHI above the wing, and (as I recall) listed as HN2401.

Interesting to see this example - and also that the *time period* is distinctly different from the other references saying ~late 2nd C., 2nd Punic war.

I'm looking forward to read Spinelli's more recent take on all this.

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2022, 02:39:20 am »
Quote from: PtolemAE on July 27, 2022, 01:16:52 pm
... I'm looking forward to read Spinelli's more recent take on all this. ...
The book seems to be based on her thesis at the University of Messina. Marianna Spinelli, "La monetazione di Locri Epizefiri tra Magna Grecia, Sicilia e regni ellenistici", Messina 2017,
being published here: https://iris.unime.it/handle/11570/3105328?mode=simple

Perhaps you find something already there :).

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2022, 07:31:23 am »
Just seen by chance: These Zeus/eagle coins are also discussed in Benedetto Carroccio, "Tra Iconografia e Storia: aquile epirote o aquile tolemaiche nelle monetazioni magnogreche?", in "Miscellanea di Studi Storici Università della Calabria" XIV, 2007:
https://www.academia.edu/433401/Tra_Iconografia_e_Storia_aquile_epirote_o_aquile_tolemaiche_nelle_monetazioni_magnogreche?email_work_card=title
Perhaps this helps :).

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Re: Help with an unusual Thurium bronze coin
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2022, 10:01:16 pm »
Just seen by chance: These Zeus/eagle coins are also discussed in Benedetto Carroccio, "Tra Iconografia e Storia: aquile epirote o aquile tolemaiche nelle monetazioni magnogreche?", in "Miscellanea di Studi Storici Università della Calabria" XIV, 2007:
https://www.academia.edu/433401/Tra_Iconografia_e_Storia_aquile_epirote_o_aquile_tolemaiche_nelle_monetazioni_magnogreche?email_work_card=title
Perhaps this helps :).

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Altamura

Thanks. That would seem to discuss whether that reverse motif of eagle/thunderbolt is related to Epirus types or Ptolemaic types. Have to read it and see whether it begs the question whether Epirote types may themselves be derivative (Ptolemaic). This paper also approaches a huge range of coin types from many locations - in silver, gold, and bronze - which might obscure what is relevant to these particular Thurium and Locri bronzes.

PtolemAE

ADDED:

Upon reflection, this Carroccio paper (2007) precedes the discovery (in 2011) that Ptolemaic bronzes ca. 17.2 g were minted on Sicily in the 260s BC and imitated by Hieron II. Carroccio's attempt to resolve questions of the eagle/thunderbolt imagery's origin (Epirote vs. Ptolemaic) for the many types of Italian coins doesn't take into account actual local and ~contemporary Ptolemaic bronze coinage (with eagle/thunderbolt reverse), perhaps the most important connection to the appearance and dating of that imagery on other coins made nearby. I don't know if Carroccio's views have changed since the 2011 paper appeared. One reason these particular Thurium and Locri bronzes are interesting is their *very* close stylistic resemblance (on reverses) to some of the 'imitative Ptolemaic' bronzes made by Hieron II. That can be seen among the dozens of images that are online as part of the 2011 paper's die study. 

 
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