Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Imitative 'wolf and twins'

Usually I don't collect Roman coins but something really attracted me to this tiny AE 8mm when I saw it at the New York International show.

The seller described it as a "barbarous imitation" of Helena / Wolf and Twins.  (The portrait could also be Fausta.) I don't think there ever was an official Roman coin with that combination.  There weren't any Roman coins quite this small.

I have never looked into late Roman imitations before. I would have expected there to be a catalog of them, either the inventory of a museum or an illustrated auction catalog with thousands of these. Does no one collect them? I would be curious to know if there are other coins like this.  I looked online and found some imitative wolf and twins on Warren Esty's site but nothing else.

I can see why it would be hard to understand the issuing tribes, given that the coins have no labels.  With unlabeled Greek coins the approach is by findspot.  For example, I have read that in Turkey the museums are entitled to everything found in their region. These museums never buy or sell.  Scholars guess the mints based on the number of samples in museum inventories. Is anyone doing statistics like that for Roman imitations?

1 comment:

Ed Snible said...

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