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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

432, Lot: 247. Estimate $75.
Sold for $55. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Anonymous. Circa 91 BC. Æ Quadrans (17.5mm, 2.50 g, 9h). Rome mint. Head of Hercules right, wearing lion skin; ••[•] (mark of value) to left / Prow of galley right; [•••] (mark of value) to right. Cf. Crawford 339/4d; cf. Sydenham 679c; RBW –. Near VF, brown and tan surfaces, some roughness.

From the Andrew McCabe Collection, purchased from Forum Ancient Coins, 2008.

An unpublished type. In complete contrast to the prior coin, this is certainly an official Rome issue coin, with a prow fully aligned with the norms used on the coinage of the 90s BC, such as the Mallet bronzes of Caius Malleoulus, and the bronzes of Lucius Pomponius Molo. This, however, bears no mint mark with clear space off flan. Nor is its weight consistent with the issues of C. MALL or L. POMP MOLO, who struck very heavy coins. I conclude that this is part of the official Rome mint issue RRC 339, but used an engraver who had worked on the C. MALL and L. POMP MOLO issues, and didn't stick to the script when it came to ship design consistency with the semuncial asses then in production. I know of no other examples of an anonymous coin in the engraving style of RRC 334 or 335, but having the weight standard and anonymous type of RRC 339. Interesting. [Andrew McCabe]