Weirdly shaped flan

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pavlos, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Pavlos

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

    A coin that attracted me a lot, is not only a coin from a Greek island (which I like to collect), but it has a quite weirdly shaped flan.

    Islands off Troas, Tenedos. AR Hemidrachm, circa 550-470 B.C.
    Archaic janiform head of Zeus and Hera.
    Reverse: T-E-N-E Labrys; all within linear square within incuse square.
    Reference: SNG Copenhagen 506-7 var. (differing legend arrangement).
    1.81g; 16mm

    I wonder why it is shaped that way, it is a coin from the Archaic times so perhaps coin minting was not that refined and standardized yet. If anyone has any idea, please share it.
    Also, please share your coins Tenedos island and any coin with abnormal shaped flans.
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    That is neat, pretty cool though.
    7Calbrey and Pavlos like this.
  4. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Isn’t this a numismatic accident? Maybe the hands of the mint were in a hurry that day.
    Pavlos likes this.
  5. Pavlos

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

    Perhaps, it would be really interesting to know, but I guess we will never know for sure.
  6. Alegandron

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

    I have the Obol version of yours...

    Troas Tenedos late 5th-early 4th C BCE AR Obol 8mm 0.60g Janiform hd female-male - Labrys within incuse square SNG Ash 1235 HGC 6 387
    Plumbata, Paul M., Ryro and 6 others like this.
  7. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    A loose lump of silver, incidentally weighing the right weight, so why not striking it ?

    Pavlos and Pellinore like this.
  8. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Although I don't have a Tenedos coin, I am a fan of the weirdly shaped flan. A few hundred years after your coin, in Athens they still hadn't perfected - at least not in a rush. As with this hastily folded and restruck tetradrachm.
    "not only are the flans commonly misshapen, but a number of them are so distorted that numismatists and coin collectors in Greece have long referred to them as “logs” (koutsoura); these are the tetradrachms in the form of long, stretched ovals with one or two nearly straight sides"
    - John Kroll article

    Athens Owl.jpg
    Attica, Athens (353-294 B.C) AR Tetradrachm
    Obv: Helmeted head of Athena right
    Rev: AΘE Owl standing right, head facing, olive sprig and crescent to left; all within incuse square.
    Size: 17x28mm, 17.0g

    and a couple hundred years later in Rhagai they still weren't perfect...
    Flan-tastic.jpg Kings of Parthia, Arsakes XVI, 78/7-62/1 BC, AR Drachm, Rhagai mint
    Obv: Diademed bust left; torque ends in pellet
    Rev: Archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, holding bow
    Size: 21mm, 4.16g
    Ref: Sellwood 30.17 (Unknown King)
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    Theodosius, Pavlos, Pellinore and 6 others like this.
  9. Plumbata

    Plumbata Well-Known Member

    Very cool coin, thanks for sharing! I don't have them photographed but have been working on a denomination run of these Tenedos silver coins. One is 0.18g and I'm not sure if it's a tetartemorion or light hemiobol but regardless the different double-face/double-bit axe coins are pretty interesting. I'd love to see your other examples if it's convenient for you to share them.

    Here's a bean-shaped gorgon that I'm fond of:
    gorg1.JPG gorg2.JPG

    And since these coins of Tenedos prominently depict a Labrys, here's my newly acquired Bronze Age example, ~310g and about 6 inches long from Northwest Bulgaria. Being rather small with relatively short cutting edges I suspect it would have been a better weapon or ceremonial piece than utilitarian tree-feller but I'll have to research them more thoroughly. I've wanted a proper bronze Labrys for a long time but all others I've seen were either obvious fakes, suspicious possible fakes, or exorbitantly priced. The excavation damage on the other face and deep chipping of the thick patina make it an imperfect but evidently genuine specimen that fills an important hole in my European Bronze Age axe collection:

    lab1.jpg lab2.jpg
  10. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    These little oddities are fun.

    Like Plumbata's above, this shekel of Arados is bean-shaped. The oval shape combined with the poor centering sees portions of the top, bottom and left side of the deity's head lost. The reverse, on the other hand, is almost complete... unusual for these in that it's something you wouldn't get with a perfectly round coin.

    Phoenicia Arados - AR Shekel Galley 2250.jpg
    PHOENICIA, Arados
    AR Shekel. 10.48g, 23.8mm (15.4mm min). Circa 420-400 BC. E&E-A Group III.1.1, C13; HGC 10, 29. O: Laureate head of Ba’al-Arwad right. R: Galley right, Pataikos on prow, above waves; M A (in Aramaic) above.

    The little diobol of Tarentum below has an odd shape, but despite that, they managed to get the design on both sides largely on-flan.

    Tarentum Diobol - Herakliskos Drakonopignon.jpg
    CALABRIA, Tarentum
    AR Diobol. 1.0g, 11.6mm. CALABRIA, Tarentum, circa 275-212 BC. Vlasto 1460-1461; HN Italy 1068. O: Head of Athena right, wearing crested helmet, decorated with Skylla. R: Herakliskos Drakonopignon: the infant demigod Herakles strangling two snakes; ΦIN monogram to left, [LE (ligate)] in exergue.
    Ex E.E. Clain-Stefanelli Collection
    Theodosius, Pavlos, Orfew and 5 others like this.
  11. Pavlos

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

    Thank you all for your beautiful contributions!

    I would love to see pictures of your denomination run of your Tenedos coins! I really like coins from the Greek islands.
    The only other Tenedos coin I have is an obol, also from the Archaic times like this hemidrachm rather than the later Tenedos issues, but I do not have a good picture of it. I would definitely want a drachm of Tenedos in the future, and the previous mentioned post-archaic fractions. A tetradrachm would be way too pricy for me, but the issues are made of fantastic style.

    Take this amazing issue as an example (obviously not mine, but I wish :rolleyes:):

    And a very cool labrys you have there.
    Plumbata, Theodosius and Bing like this.
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