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Re: [RROME] The Quadrigatus

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  • Witschonke Rick
    Thanks to Andrew for an interesting analysis of a complex issue. Dick Schaefer has pointed out that he is accumulating images in his photo file for a full die
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 24, 2005
      Thanks to Andrew for an interesting analysis of a complex issue.
      Dick Schaefer has pointed out that he is accumulating images in his
      photo file for a full die count, but the work involved will be

      One of the projects that Charles Hersh was working on before he died
      was a full die study of the quadragatti (jointly with Andrew
      Burnett). Charles had accumulated a lot of images and casts, but had
      become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the undertaking, and hadn't
      made much progress. His files are now at the ANS, where they can be
      viewed by anyone with an interest (just let me know).

      Rick Witschonke

      --- Andrew McCabe <ahala@...> wrote:

      > A natural step from the recent threads on Luceria bronzes and the
      > Calpurnia Piso (Caius and Lucius) series' is the quadrigatus,
      > another
      > of those unfathomable series. I'm interested in any views on
      > sorting
      > it out. Is anyone aware of any follow-up studies to Crawford?
      > I've personally concluded that the best approach a collector can
      > take
      > is to find a variety of obverse and reverse types (incuse legend,
      > line legend, rectangular,quadrilateral and trapezoid boxes, Victory
      > in the chariot or on the back step, fat and thin heads, debased,
      > lightweight and full weight coins, refined or crude die cutting,
      > high
      > and low relief etc.) and sit back and wait for someone to do the
      > necessary die study, which, as Crawford points out is the only true
      > way to untangle the series. Hoards are not much value since all the
      > hoards date from the same period, 218-215 or so, and contain the
      > full
      > run of types apart from the obviously late lightweight debased
      > types.
      > However I'd like to understand the series in this lifetime so am
      > not
      > sure I can wait for the die study.
      > Crawford's approach was to isolate a number of distinct, non-die-
      > linked styles, and follow the evolution of each from the early,
      > incuse legend fine-die-cutting through the latest relief legend in
      > a
      > line box, debased, crude style, and in doing so isolates four main
      > threads (Cr.28, 29, 30, 31) and three aberrant styles (Cr.
      > 32,33,34).
      > Within the main threads I could see the following main groups:
      > 28-a: Main series,incuse legend in rectangular box, Crawford Plate
      > 2
      > 28-b: Cruder version of main series, Plate 3, generally
      > unclassifiable
      > 28-c: Late coins with line boxed relief legend, Plate 4
      > 29 : Trapezoid legend box, distinctive obverse style
      > 30 : Victory on the running board
      > 31 : Distinctive angular obverse die-cutting
      > 32 : (may not be a separate series, possibly 28-b variant)
      > 33 : (may not be a separate series, possibly 28-a variant)
      > 34 : (may not be a separate series, possibly 28-b variant)
      > Certainly a collector with versions of 28-a,b,c,29,30,31 according
      > to
      > the characteristics I describe below, together with perhaps one or
      > two styistic oddballs, will have a representative collection, and
      > should perhaps not worry too much which box to put them in. Someone
      > is probably studying these coins somewhere, or an early hoard will
      > be
      > located and the matter better resolved.
      > Discussion:
      > Series 28
      > - 28-a: the main Cr.28 series, most of Crawford Plate 2, high
      > relief,
      > fine style, incuse legend in a rectangular box. Not diffcult to
      > classify provided you recognise the style.
      > - 28-b: various cruder version of the same, Plate 3, still with
      > incuse legend, some with quadrilateral legend box (Pl.3 10-11),
      > some
      > with cruder obverse style (Pl.3 8-9) some in lower relief (Pl.3
      > 4-7),
      > a perhaps standard Cr28 (Pl.3 3) and a few oddballs (Pl.3 1,2,4).
      > Impossible to classify; some of these might simply be
      > Monday-morning
      > efforts from the 28-a studio, some might be from a different
      > workshop, or the entire Plate 3 may represent a later stage in the
      > quadrigatus development than 28-a. The group, along with 32 and 34,
      > to me seems to contain the residue of types that are not easily
      > classified;
      > - 28-c: Late coins with a line box and legend (Pl.4 1-4,8), often
      > lightweight, small, crude style. Easy to classify. The 28-c group,
      > whilst easily recognised, may in fact be the result of a
      > least-effort
      > die-cutting that could stem from any of the workshops making series
      > 28-31. That the very earliest Cr44/5 denarius has an incuse legend
      > suggests at least that there may have been parallel workshops with
      > incuse and relief legends right up to 212 BC, which to an extent
      > goes
      > against the Crawford story that there is a chronological flow with
      > the line-boxed legends following the incuse and partially incuse
      > legends.
      > Series 29
      > - Plate 5: trapezoid legend box (easy to classify, if this is
      > indeed
      > a common type characteristic), usually large round heads but some
      > neat narrow heads from the same die-cutter. Pl.4-7 (Cr28) seems to
      > have the same characteristics
      > Series 30:
      > - Plate 6: Victory is standing on the running board rather than in
      > the chariot (easy to classify, if this is indeed a common type
      > characteristic)
      > Series 31:
      > - Pl.4 10-13: angular obverse die-cutting, particularly noticeable
      > on
      > the truncation. Not difficult to classify if this is indeed the
      > type
      > characteristic.
      > Series 32:
      > Pl.3 12. Apart from the knobby sceptre, probably simply a bored
      > die-
      > cutter, I find little to distinguish this from the rest of Plate 3
      > Series 33:
      > Pl. 4 14. Although the reverse is quite distinctive, it is not that
      > far from the early series 28 in style and is probably just a better
      > than average die-cutting effort from the main series.
      > Series 34:
      > Pl. 4 15. Likewise a dinstinctive obverse in this case, but could
      > still easily hide among the various Plate 3 (cruder Cr.28) types
      > Drachms:
      > Whilst 28/4 and 29/4 seem distinguishable and related to their
      > didrachm, 30/2 seems rather tenatively linked to series 30 - it
      > might
      > as easily by from the later Cr28 ("28-b") group. The jury is
      > probably
      > still out as to the number of drachm issues and their
      > distinguishing
      > features.
      > Please please let me have your views on these coins as I still
      > remain
      > quite confused.
      > regards
      > Andrew McCabe

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