A 'Common' Quadrans

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    I love quadrantes. Especially those without an imperial portrait. This recently acquired Flavian quadrans is in fairly decent condition with full legends and a nice chocolatey patina - it was hard to resist.

    Æ Quadrans, 2.52g
    Rome mint, 80-81 AD
    Obv: IMP T VESP AVG COS VIII; Modius
    Rev: S C in laurel wreath
    RIC 255 (C). BMC 220. BNC 227.
    Acquired from London Ancient Coins, January 2021.

    A small issue of quadrantes dated COS VIII were struck for Titus sometime in 80 or 81. The modius/ S C laurel wreath type copies the famous quadrans struck under Claudius. Although the frequency rating in RIC is 'common', this denomination for Titus is actually fairly uncommon.

    When you think of Titus's coinage, do you think of his quadrantes? I didn't think so.

    Post your quadrantes!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
    Clavdivs, Nemo, Sulla80 and 21 others like this.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Claudius 5.jpg
    AE Quadrans
    Struck at Rome, 42AD
    2.6g, 16mm
    RIC 90, BN 195, S 1865, C 72
    Claudius 6.jpg
    AE Quadrans
    OBVERSE: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG around hand holding pair of scales above PNR
    Struck at Rome, 41AD
    2.8g, 15mm
    RIC 85, Cohen 71, BMC 174
    ANONYMOUS Roman Republican 1.jpg
    Æ Quadrans
    OBVERSE: Winged petasus
    REVERSE: S-C, winged caduceus
    Struck at Rome, Late 1st-mid 2nd century AD
    15mm, 2.36g
    RIC II 32
    Trajan 3.jpg
    AE Quadrans
    OBVERSE: IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG, laureate head right, slight drapery on far shoulder
    REVERSE: She-wolf crouching left, SC in ex.
    Struck at Rome, 98-117 AD 2.6g, 16mm
    RIC 694, Cohen 340, BMC 1061
  4. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Thank you for posting the Claudius version! Lovely.
  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Really like your Quadrans, @David Atherton ! Great shape AE!

    I do not have any Quadrans from the Principate (Empire) Period. Rather, this one is from the Roman Republic Era.

    Here is one from one of Rome’s Allies of Italia - the Frentani, who were the coastal cousins of the mountain-folk Samnites.

    A Quadruns was 3 Unciae or 1/4th an As (12 Unciae to an As). 10 Asses made a Denarius, 5 Asses made a Quinarius, at this time...

    Frentani - Larinum AE 18mm Quadrans 210-175 BCE Herakles - Centaur SNG COP
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  6. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Wow really nice pickup David.
    David Atherton likes this.
  7. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

  8. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste


    RIC II Hadrian 624

    Æ Quadrans . Rome mint. 18 mm., 2,52 g. Struck AD 121-122. Eagle standing facing, head right / Winged thunderbolt. RIC II 624
    Obverse legend gone, but it will do.


    Trajan AD 98-117. Rome. Quadrans Æ. 114-117. 20 mm., 3,01 g. RIC 2 697

    Legend: IMP TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P Type: Head of Trajan, laureate, right
    Reverse Legend: S C Type: She-wolf walking right

    and its poorer sister
    3.4 g 17.2 mm Quadrans
    RIC II Trajan 694
    From Date: AD 114 To Date: AD 117
    Type: Head of Trajan, laureate, right
    Legend: S C
    Type: She-wolf walking left



    2.24 g 15.3 mm Quadrans
    RIC II Nerva 113
    Type: Modius containing four corn-ears
    Legend: S C
    Type: Winged caduceus upright
  9. Aleph

    Aleph Active Member

    Titus’ quadrantes are much scarcer than RIC indicates! David, your quadrans is the most common one but still should be rated as scarce I think; the Minerva version RIC 254, also rated as common, is difficult to find and should be rated as rare.

    Quadrantes that circulated in Rome never have an imperial portrait on them; those with imperial portrait were intended for circulation else where. Consider the two Trajan quadrantes above with Hercules and Trajans’s portrait. Both are common in the market today. However in King’s study of quadrantes found in the Tiber, many Hercules quadrantes were found and almost none of the Trajan portrait issues were making quite a striking contrast. Indeed, Curtis clay stated in a thread on Forum some years back that the Trajan she wolf quadrans was actually rare prior to the fall of the iron curtain.

    I really enjoy quadrantes. This was a denomination that did not circulate like other denominations and may have been distributed primarily as largess at events. Rated as one quarter of an as, the quadrans was not given as change (at least not in the Flavian era). More likely it seems, it was a kind of token for things like a small meal on the street or entrance into the baths.
    Orfew and David Atherton like this.
  10. Archeocultura

    Archeocultura Well-Known Member

    I Augustus 457 quadrans Bet Bassus.jpg 3a nr 131 I Augustus 227 quadrans Lyon 3a nr 131.jpg 1A nr 001 Triveri.jpg The three most common types of quadrantes in Gaul during Augustus' reign
  11. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    I have but one quadrans, but it's a nice one, and roughly the same period as @David Atherton's. The obverse lacks the S C, however, the reverse is obviously of interest. I believe having read somewhere that these were minted to celebrate the opening of the Colosseum (?).
    [11140] Domitian -  (AE Quadrans, 84-85 AD).jpg

    Also, this type was posted above. Still unsure whether this should be classified as Celtic or Roman.
  12. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    I like the modius on your coin, @David Atherton !

    Here is a little Hadrian quadrans from my collection. I find the standards a bit more interesting than the usual "someone standing there" reverses:
    Rom – Hadrian, quadrans, Standarten.png
    Hadrian, Roman Empire, quadrans, 125–128 AD, Rome mint. Obv: [HADRIANVS] AVGVS[TVS]; head of Hadrian, laureate, r. Rev: COS I[II]; three standards; in exergue, SC. 15mm, 2.64g. Ref: RIC II Hadrian 689.
  13. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    The obverse is actually the Rhino side. S C can be seen on your reverse.

    For further reading: https://www.cointalk.com/threads/a-souvenir-from-the-colosseum.333441/
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I have added nothing (neither coins nor understanding) since this was last discussed so all I can add is to repost the three anonymous from the gods series and three Trajans I have had for 20 years.
    rb1580bb0755.jpg rb1585fd2676.jpg rb1590bb1858.jpg rc1775bb2978.jpg rc1780bb1582.jpg rc1790bb0535.jpg

    This makes me think of ration tokens from WWII that were needed to make certain purchases. If quadrantes were distributed without being part of the money system and the 1/4 as matter just a modern invention, I could see it serving the public good by enabling the poor to become clean without tempting them to stop bathing to save money. I am unaware of what evidence we have on exactly how these were used. It does seem that many quadrantes were found rough possibly as solo finds rather than pot finds. Are they found mixed in hoards with other AE? This seems a bit like some modern 'food stamps' which can not be used to make purchases other than the type intended. Coin collectors tend to operate on certain assumptions of the way money works including that you can use a $50 bill and a canvas bag of cents interchangeably. I have not studied the evidence of this matter. Has anyone?
  15. Aleph

    Aleph Active Member

    It does seem that small change was used in the late republic and early empire but the use of the smallest denominations waned. As far as I am aware, of all the prices for goods found in Pompeii, none show prices less than an as although I don’t remember if any show fractions of an as like 2.5 as. It is also clear from the proportion of quadrantes found relative to ases, there was no where near enough supply in the Flavian era on to function as change. Evidence for usage and function in this period is scarce, though. van Heesch has written on this in a number of articles. Here is a good review:
  16. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    I've found this table of 'live' currency from a bar in Pompeii very illuminating.

    pompeii live currency.JPG
  17. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    ROMAN Republic,
    Aes Grave Issue,
    Æ Quadrans, 59.82g
    269-242 BCE
    Mint of Rome Anonymous issue
    Obv: dog walking left, three pellets below
    Rev six-spoked wheel, three pellets between
    Ref: Cr 26/6a; Thurlow-Vecchi 34
    Comments Dark green patina, fine.
    Ex: from the David Sellwood Collection
    Ex: Baldwin

    Roman Republic
    214-212 BCE.
    AE quadrans.
    Sicilian mint.

    28.1 mm, 19.28 g, 1 h.
    Head of Hercules right, wearing boar's-skin headdress; three pellets behind /
    ROMA, bull charging right; grain ear and three pellets above, snake below.
    Crawford 72/7; Sydenham 94.
    aVF, black patina, lightly porous.
    Ex RBW collection (not in previous sales).
    Ex: Agora

    Roman Republic
    Æ Quadrans,
    18mm, 3.6g, 6h;
    Rome, 206-195 BCE
    Obv.: Head of Hercules right wearing lions skin, pellet behind.
    Rev.: ROMA, Prow of galley right, three pellets below.
    Reference: Crawford339/4a; Sydenham679c
    ex Ken Dorney, ex RBW Collection with his envelope, ex Jean Elsen 1994
    Ex: @John Anthony

    Roman Republic
    C. Curiatius f. Trigeminus.
    135 BCE Æ quadrans (18 mm, 4.83 g, 12 h). Rome. Head of Hercules right, wearing lion's skin headdress; behind [three pellets] / [C ·] C(VR) · F above, ROMA in exergue, prow of galley right; on deck, Victory standing right, holding wreath; before, three pellets. Crawford 240/4a; Sydenham 460b. Nice green patina. Flan a little tight as usual and slight porosity on lower reverse, but otherwise a decent strike with good detail. Very fine.
    From the Maple Leaf Collection.
    Ex: Triskeles Auctions
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  18. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    A trio of quandrates...
    quadrans X3.jpg
    Bing, Johndakerftw and Alegandron like this.
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