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Author Topic: An interesting legend variation on an Æ as of L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi  (Read 907 times)

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Offline Jordan Montgomery

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In a recent auction I purchased the following Æ as of L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, Cr. 340/4, ex. RBW collection, and thought I'd share here and ask if anyone has seen a similar example. The reverse legend on this example reads FRVGF as opposed to the usual FRVGI. This was not noted by the auctioneer, though it was noted by RBW on his envelope. I have been unable to find another one either on ACSearch or in any of the printed catalogues I have access to. I also checked Crawford and Babelon, and the only variant I found was one with a retrograde "S" in PISO, listed and included in the plates by Crawford. Additionally, the style and weight of 11.87g are such that I do not believe this is an imitative issue, rather it was probably an error made in the mint and because of the massive coinage requirements of the Social War, the mint officials went ahead and struck coins with the die rather than throwing it out.
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Offline Jordan Montgomery

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After a bit more research it appears that the ANS may have an example with this reverse: http://numismatics.org/collection/1969.83.488 I believe, though I'm not yet certain, that it is a die match to mine.
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Offline Carausius

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Jordan,

Looking at the coin in hand, is there any chance that it reads FRVG•F rather than FRVGF?

Offline Jordan Montgomery

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Quote from: Carausius on June 08, 2016, 12:15:46 pm
Jordan,

Looking at the coin in hand, is there any chance that it reads FRVG•F rather than FRVGF?

I just got home and took another look at it with a strong light and I don't see any • or remnant of such.
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Offline Andrew McCabe

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Quote from: Carausius on June 08, 2016, 12:15:46 pm
Jordan,

Looking at the coin in hand, is there any chance that it reads FRVG•F rather than FRVGF?

I just got home and took another look at it with a strong light and I don't see any • or remnant of such.

Nevertheless I think Carausius must be on the right track. If you look at a few dozen semuncial asses, Crawford 337 to 344 (not counting the well made VER OGVL GAR series) you'll find masses of different legend and style varieties, and as regards legends, pretty much an absence of clear • periods. The F may have been intentional and the legends on these coins must I think read FRVG F, and the error is that it should read  FRVG L F (Lucius Fiius).

This is actually consistent with some of the silver denarius varieties where L PISO FRVG L F is seen. It is an error but the error is the omission of L rather than the addition of F. There are dozens of much worse errors than this in the semuncial bronze series, and no evidence they discarded dies due to them!

The Romans weren't great on their use of periods. Still this is a very interesting legend variety.

Offline Jordan Montgomery

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Thank you, Andrew & Carausius as well. I hadn't seen(or known to look for) any of the denarius varieties you mentioned so I wasn't quite sure what to make of this coin. With that context, it makes much more sense.
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