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The type specimen for Carausius RIC 914


This coin has been in my gallery of Carausius coins here on Forum since 2004. It does appear to have an interesting history.

Whilst reconciling old coin tickets I have for coins from the Blackmoor hoard sales with the two sale catalogues (both referenced in the catalogues section of the bibliography page on my Carausius website) I realised that I have the type specimen for Webb’s 1933 RIC listing of RIC 914.

My coin, described as IMP CARAVSIVS PF A, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, PAX AVG, Pax (or Fides?) standing left with two standards has a ticket that notes it was part of lot 285 in the Christie’s 1975 sale. The lot is described as 20 Pax coins with various other attributes (RIC 907ff).

 Looking at the RIC volume Webb notes in the “Authority” column that it is W. 1015, ie cited from his 1908 publication, The Coins of Carausius (reprinted as a monograph from the 1907 Numismatic Chronicle.

So, turning to the Webb book I flip to the entry and Webb’s “Authorities” column reads Selborne. The 1873 Blackmoor hoard was owned by Lord Selborne, having being discovered mid way between Blackmoor House and Woolmer Pond on his land. Thus, the specimen cited by Webb in both Coins of Carausius and RIC is the Blackmoor coin, and, consulting Roger Bland's Coin Hoards of Roman Britain III, there was only a single specimen in the catalogue, number 20448.
Curiously Bland describes the coin as RIC 913var. Although he does not explain what difference he thinks he has seen from the RIC description. Looking at the die axis of approximately 45 degrees from the vertical demonstrates it is the same specimen.

Curtis JJ:
Congratulations on the great research! That's exactly the kind of coin I love. Representing the literature for its type, and the notable old collections & hoards from which our knowledge derives. Especially to have recovered an important bit of lost "object biography" oneself -- there's almost nothing better! 

I'm a little late to this thread.  Excellent research, Mauseus, and congratulations. 

On a slightly related matter, I recently bought an original copy of Webb's The Coins of Carausius which was deacessioned by the Library of the British Numismatic Society.  It contains, in a tipped-in envelope, an 1907 letter to well-known collector Henry Platt Hall from Percy Webb.  Webb, returning some coins of Carausius and Allectus that Hall had sent him for opinions.  One TEMP FELI, one TEMPORVM FELICITAS, one FORTVNA, one IOVI STATORI and one SOLI INVICTI are discussed.  Also included is an 1896 cover letter to Hall from J. Scholes Walker & Co. enclosing 5 coins, 3 of which were found in 1862 at "Thurstle Hil, Wobursly, Bury [?)"  I presume these are the same coins discussed in Webb's letter to Hall. The envelope is marked "Re coins of Carausius found near Bury 1862" and beneath that "1272. 1282. 1283"  Interesting stuff and I wonder if connections can be made to connect this correspondence to coins currently in collections.

How fabulous! By coincidence my copy of Webb came with two more recent tipped in letters.

Hall's examples of Webb 1282 and 1283 became Webb's type specimens, as did 1271 (sic). 1272 is cited as being Spink. I wonder if this reflects a late renumbering of the supplement of Webb's draft or whether it is an error in his manuscript reply.



Checking my copy of Glendining's 1950 sale of the Henry Platt Hall Collection, I find Lot 1993, a group lot, contains 15 Antoniniani of Carausius, including "TEMP. FELI S.C. and SOLI INVI E," with note "Some found at Bury, a very fine lot".  So, this group lot certainly contained the coins described in the correspondence and later added to Webb's supplement.  Unfortunately, no photos of this group lot appear in the auction catalogue plates. 


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