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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

452, Lot: 656. Estimate $100.
Sold for $100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Anonymous. Circa 235 BC. Æ Litra (15.5mm, 3.25 g, 6h). Club series. Rome mint. Helmeted head of Mars right; club behind / Horse galloping right; club above, ROMA below. Crawford 27/2; Sydenham 23a; Type as RBW 53. Dark brown patina with traces of red, some roughness. VF.

From the Andrew McCabe Collection. Ex English Amateur Scholar Collection Duplicate (not in Numismatica Ars Classica 92), who purchased it in 1984.

The monetary function of these small early Roman Republican bronzes remains unknown. Though traditionally called "litra," which implies they are part of a token bronze coinage having overvalued denominations relating to the silver didrachm with which they were struck, it seems much more likely to me that they formed the lower end of the bronze denominations headed by the aes grave denominations. In that case, the denomination of this coin is one-eight of an uncia. [Andrew McCabe]