A pointy ear - or is it?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roerbakmix, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    Some might have noticed that my collection drifted away from the Roman Empire. Sceatta's, and then mainly those (likely) minted in Magnia Frisia - largely the current Netherlands, have become my main focus. Two types of sceatta's are thought to be minted here: the series E (i.e. the 'porcupines', with a enourmous diversity and variations), and the series D. The latter start of as close copies of the Series A and C from England, and drift off quickly towards more abstraction.

    Today, with the help of @AnYangMan, I added another one to my series D. It was largely overlooked in an auction, mainly because the pictures were really poor. Thus, I was able to snag it for little to nothing (that is, relatively). I must confess: my photo's are not much better, because in hand, the coin is so much nicer.

    The series D is a bit more scarce than the series E, with the two main works on these series (by Metcalf and Opdenvelde) identifying 1272 and 3586 unique coins (respectively) in 2003 and 2009 (respectively). The interesting aspect of this coin only became clear to me when I studied the die-corpus for a die match. Sifting through these 1272 coins, you have to look for unique identifiers, and the large protruding ear (the "<" on the obverse) is recognizable. I did however not find a die match, and what's more, I noted that all ears on busts with ears (not all have ears, that's the fun) face in the other direction (i.e. ">"). So, this was not an ear, and thus, by digression, it should be a nose.

    Next, I looked at the horizontal lines on the left (right under the nose).
    The series D (and also, the series A and C) have the runic legend "EPA" in front of the bust. These lines are part of this legend, though largely off-flan (in hand, it's a bit more clear).

    So, this could only be a left-facing series D, which is scarce (nearly all busts are facing right). So, nitpicking to the maximum, which (though you may not be interested in sceattas) should be recognizable to most of you. It gave me a lot of fun in the evening :)

    For further reference, my detailed description:
    ANGLO-SAXON, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (series D, BMC type 2c), minted: Frisia; 690-715 AD Obv: Abstract bust to the left (as indicated by the nose on the left. This could be interpreted as an ear as well, however in the 2c-types, the ear is uniformly marked as a '>', while this nose is indicated by a '<', i.e. facing the other direction. Also, the runic legend EPA is partly visible on the left. For right-facing busts, this is always on the right.), wearing dotted crown (indicated by a concave line with dots below and zig-zag pattern above - largely off-flan); torso below (indicated by concave line with dots below). Rev: Cross-pommee, with one end ending in an annulet. A dot in each quadrant; zig-zag pattern around Weight: 1.07g; Ø:11mm. Catalogue: No die match in JMP.

    Please post your:
    - sceatta's
    - coins that turned out something else after studying (and include a walk-through!)
    seth77, Edessa, PeteB and 8 others like this.
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Very interesting coin. Thanks for posting.
  4. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Nice coin and interesting to read about it, thanks! I live in the Netherlands myself so nice to read and hear about its history other than the mighty VOC and it's colonies :rolleyes:
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