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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

432, Lot: 208. Estimate $200.
Sold for $425. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Anonymous. Circa 214 BC. Æ Quadrans (26mm, 13.98 g, 11h). Corn-ear (first) series. Mint in Sicily. Head of Hercules right, wearing lion skin; ••• (mark of value) to left / Bull charging right; grain ear and ••• (mark of value) above, serpent below; ROMA in exergue. Crawford 42/2; Sydenham –; BAR Issue 10; Type as RBW 140. VF, dark green patina with touches of red, minor roughness.

From the Andrew McCabe Collection. Ex Spink Numismatic Circular XCVIII.3 (April 1990), lot 1568 (£200).

Crawford in RRC arranges the corn-ear series by weight. Most quadrantes weigh between 11 and 15 grams, clustered around the theoretical sextantal weight of 13.5 grams;. This coin is almost 14 grams, thus RRC 42, but many coins struck with the same size dies on similar flans and in similar style but by chance slightly lighter are RRC 72. It is an artificial division. I think the RRC 42/72 series should be classified based on the nature of flan (overstrike or not; the latter usually thinner), die size, and presence or absence of a corn-ear. It is not clear if this is an overstrike, but the type also occurs on larger but thinner flans that are clearly new-made (e.g. Platt-Hall, Nov. 1950, no. 455, also my coin). This example has a corn-ear as does the thin but broad sextans RRC 72/8 later in this sale. In general, the thin flan types appear not to be overstrikes, yet often have dies and flans as large as much heavier coins. One might have thought the new-made flan types would precede overstrikes, yet due to weight, RRC often flips the order. A study of these types is ongoing under the auspices of the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna, which will hopefully clarify the series based on actual die links. [Andrew McCabe]