Anyone interested in a Die Study of the Coinage of the Gordiani Africani I and II ?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Julius Germanicus, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    I admire the die studies A.M Woodward has done on the die combinations of the Sestertii of Pertinax and Didius Julianus (sadly he did not manage to publish those he started for Pupienus and Balbinus) and the one that Curtis Clay did for Macrinus and Diadumenanus.

    The next logical step would be to try a die analysis for the Gordiani Africani I & II, as there is just one bronze denomination (Sestertius), a small number of types (the same six for each emperor), and a limited number of specimens available.

    Apart from helping collectors to avoid fakes (there is one on eBay offered right now), it would greatly help to unterstand the work of the roman mint in 238, for example questions like:

    1) How many obverse ond reverse dies were used for the coinage of Gordian I and II and how were these combined?

    2) Did each officina strike one reverse type for both Gordian I and II or did some strike for Gordian I and others for Gordian II exclusively?

    3) Can we identify different styles, presumably of different celators, and is there any evolvement in portrait style in this short time ?

    4) Can we identify different phases of minting? For example, can the fact that three reverse types are rare for Gordian I, but the other three for Gordian II, lead to he assumption that each emperor had three types at the beginning which were switched shortly before the end oft he reign?

    I have by no means the scientific background (just been collecting for a couple of years), the time (I must work), or even the technical tools or knowledge to overlay images and identify die matches within seconds (I know some of you can :) ).

    But maybe some of you find a scientific project like this interesting and would like to take this challenge – maybe we can create something useful for the future here or at least motivate someone willing and able to do this to create a lasting work of reference.

    For a start I compiled images of 8 of the 10 known specimens of Gordianus I, RIC 10:

    Bildschirmfoto 2018-03-08 um 13.09.02.jpg
    Bildschirmfoto 2018-03-08 um 13.09.36.jpg
    Bildschirmfoto 2018-03-08 um 13.15.44.jpg

    - So how many different obverse and reverse dies do we see here (not counting the fake)?

    - Are there any die links?

    - and does anybody have a picture of the Paris specimen or any others not listed here?
    (due to construction work they do not have access to it now)

    Carpe diem, JG
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  3. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Looks like you may not get any takers, JG, but I think you could do it, as gradually as necessary. You could post your progress and tentative conclusions here as you go along, for others to review, and for @TIF to perform her image wizardry on occasion. ;) What do you think? I would certainly love to see it happen!
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  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

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  5. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    OK, I´ll try to make a start :)

    The eight (presumably genuine) coins of the type illustrated in the OP seem to come from five obverse dies, which I have sorted by the letter that the laurel wreath points to:

    AV 1: wreath points to T: Coins 5 and 8
    AV 2: wreath points to G: Coins 1, 2, and 7
    AV 3: wreath points to G/O: Coin 6
    AV 4: wreath points to O/R: Coin 4
    AV 5: wreath points to R: Coin 3

    Using my eyesight only I could identify (at least) 5 reverse dies here (there seems to me some tooling however):

    RV 1: Coins 1 and 2
    RV 2: Coin 3
    RV 3: Coins 4 and 5
    RV 4: Coin 6
    RV 5: Coins 7 and 8

    I hope I am not too far off and would be glad for any helpful comments. @TIF would certainly be better at this :)

    If there is a fake among coins Nr. 1-8, I would say it is most likely coin Nr.3, which shares no die links with any of the other coins and has a different portrait style.

    When I find the time, I shall continue with the next type...
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