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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Numismatics ▸ Barbaric & ImitativeView Options:  |  |  |   

Barbaric and Imitative Coins

Eastern Celts, Imitative of Philip II of Macedonia, "Dachreiter" Type, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Although the body and head of the horseman on the prototype drachm of Philip III of Macedonia have been replaced by an S-shaped line over three pellets, the horseman's leg can still be found on the side of the horse!
SH89462. Silver tetradrachm, Gbl OTA tf. 15, 170/4; Lanz 448, aVF, light toning, reverse slightly off center, light marks, weight 11.953 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse laureate and bearded head of Zeus right; reverse stylized horseman prancing left, rider's head and body reduced to an S-shaped line over three pellets, leg of horseman on side of the horse; $600.00 (528.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

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The extraordinarily crude, unusual and interesting style of this coin suggests it is unofficial; however, the style is typical for all specimens with Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 29. The weight of specimens from the issue was well controlled at around 10 grams. The variety is likely official, but from a provincial mint, certainly not Constantinople.
BZ86495. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A3, Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 29; DOC III-2 A2.29 (not in the collection, refs. Bellinger); SBCV 1818, EF, sharp detail, extraordinary and interesting crude style, tight flan, reverse off center, edge ragged, weight 10.472 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, provincial (or unofficial?) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $360.00 (316.80)


Imitative Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, c. 970 - 980 A.D.

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Of this type of imitative, Lampinen writes, "The second phase of Balkan coinage production goes into high gear with the introduction of the anonymous follis series during the reign of John I (969 - 976). The explicit Christian imagery must have struck a chord with the recently converted Balkan masses because the official mint issues were accompanied by a fair quantity of copies, to meet the excess demand. These Christian issues would also be the prototypes for the initial coinage of several medieval Christian states, such as the first Crusader issues of Edessa and Antioch, medieval Armenia and distant Georgia in the Caucasus."
BZ89911. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative p. 154 for a similar imitative; for the likely prototype cf. official Byzantine anonymous class A1 folles; SBCV 1793, VF, green patina, double struck, porous, crude and blundered, weight 6.880 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, unofficial (Balkan?) mint, c. 970 - 980 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, blundered imitation of the abbreviation: IC - XC (Greek: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); rare this crude; $300.00 (264.00)


Thracian Tribes, c. 400 - 338 B.C., Imitative of Chersonesos

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This "barbarous imitation" was likely minted by a Thracian tribe living near the Greek colony of Cherronesos. Imitative tribal coinage such as this was common in the outlying regions of the classical world as peoples who traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans, also emulated their ways. The coin's simplified style is typical of such coinage. Tribal coinage has not been as well studied or documented and apparently no Cherronesos imitatives are listed in the references held by Forum.
GS91080. Silver hemidrachm, cf. McClean II 4056; BMC Thrace p. 183, 8; Dewing 1301; SNG Cop 824; Weber II - (Chersonesos prototype), VF, crude style, porous, edge crack, weight 2.161 g, maximum diameter 13.81 mm, tribal mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left; reverse quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet at the center of each of the two opposite deeper quarters; rare; $250.00 (220.00)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82792. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, monogram 28/1, group XVI, 1525 (O DE1/ R 1207); SNG Cop 1044 ff., VF, attractive style, light toning, , tight flan, obverse slightly off center, light bumps and marks, die wear, reverse slight double strike, weight 16.358 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, monogram inner left; $240.00 (211.20)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82782. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 7, 689 (V AC3 / R 536); Lukanc 771 (same dies); SNG Cop 1042, VF, porosity on obverse, bumps and scratches, edge crack, weight 16.65 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $225.00 (198.00)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82789. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 18, 639 (V AC1 / R 524); SNG Cop 1042 (Thasos); Lukanc 770, VF, toned, tight flan, bumps and marks, wavy flan, die break on cheek and hair, weight 16.838 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $225.00 (198.00)


Uncertain Eastern, c. 3rd - 2nd Century B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander III

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Many Greek cities across what was once Alexander's empire struck Alexander tetradrachms as civic coinage, even centuries after the death of the great conqueror. Similarly, peoples on the fringes of the Greek world also struck Alexander tetradrachms; sometimes with unusual or bizarre style, and often with illiterate blundered inscriptions. These coins are often described as "barbaric." We can attribute some of these imitative types to specific places or tribes. Other coins, such as this one, are a mystery.
GS82716. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Price B36 ff. (barbarous, uncertain prototypes), VF, very high relief, toned, tight flan, porous, weight 15.001 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (tribal?) mint, c. 3rd - 2nd Century B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin headdress; reverse Zeus Atophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, monogram lower left(?); rare; $200.00 (176.00)


Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Ancient Unofficial Cast

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This coin is clearly cast and not an official struck mint issue. Many unofficial counterfeits or perhaps semi-offical local imitations were struck and cast in Gaul, especially during the reign of Claudius (up to 50% of the bronze Claudius coins found in some areas), apparently due to shortages of official coinage. This coin was probably cast at that time.
RB88887. Cast bronze as, cf. RIC I Gaius 58, BMCRE II Tiberius 161, BnF II Caligula 77, Hunter I 1, Cohen I 3, SRCV I 1812 (official, Rome mint, struck under Caligula), F, green patina, corrosion, casting seams and sprues, weight 15.775 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, 38 - c. 60 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing facing, head left, nude but for cloak draped over arms, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand, large S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $150.00 (132.00)


Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.

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This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs less then 1/3 the weight of the even the lightest official Class B Byzantine anonymous follis Forum has handled. Attribution to the Normans in Italy is based on the reputed find location and some similarity to other Byzantine imitatives issued by the Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily.
ME73353. Bronze follaro, apparently unpublished, imitative of Class B Byzantine anonymous follis (SBCV 1823, Constantinople, 1028 - 1041); MEC Italy III -, MIR -, et al. -, F, weight 2.163 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Italian mint, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse IS - XS / bAS-ILE / bAS-ILE (Jesus Christ King of Kings, mostly off flan), Cross on three steps, dividing legend; from a California collector; $125.00 (110.00)




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Friday, July 19, 2019.
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Barbaric and Imitative