Sunday, 22 August 2010

The quinquennalia of Carausius

It is surprising how taking a fresh look at a worn coin will give you a different reading and that has happened to me with this coin:
Carausius 287-93
Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev "[VO]TA QVI C[AE]"
Roma seated on shield left
RIC - (cf 1095)

I thought it had read ROMA CONS, however, what I thought was ON at the top of the coin is actually QVI and is actually a coin from his quinquennalia, the vows discharged after five years reign and looking forward another 5 years to his decennalia or 10th anniversary (MX below the seated Roma, not really visible on this coin being short for "MVLTIS 10").

I was familiar with the two or three known similar examples and even commented on the similarity of my specimen without making the final leap into attributing as such. Re-examination of the reverse lettering has now confirmed it for me, after being mis-identified for eight years or so.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Frome Hoard of Carausius

I was invited down to the British Museum yesterday by Sam Moorhead for lunch and to discuss the work he’s currently doing on Carausius, both with the recent Frome hoard and the older Elveden hoard.

As well as seeing the small public display I got to have a quick look at the rest of the hoard, bagged and in boxes and most of it awaiting conservation, as well as the two denarii and a handfull of already conserved coins not on public display.

The denarii are as impressive as the pictures, if not more so and far exceed the quality of the remaining Carausian denarii in the BM's collection.

What is interesting is that the hoard has been carefully excavated down through the pot and seems to have been assembled from smaller pots. The reason for this hypothesis is that it seemingly terminates with London B/E coins (c.290) yet the greatest concentration of Carausius coins by far, including these terminal coins, was in the middle layer. The denarii, struck early in the reign, were found in the upper layers.

Hopefully a small booklet will be out shortly, within a week or two, to summarise the hoard (similar to what was produced for the West Midlands Saxon gold finds) with a full academic publication in due course.

Friday, 13 August 2010

An Edward Jekyll update.......

It's been a while since I posted here but (hopefully that will change).

I can report a small update in identifying the Edward Joseph Jekyll named on a Victorian bookplate (see HERE for the original posting).

I was leafing through Harrington Manville's book 'British Numismatic Auction Catalogues, 1710-1984' when I came across a sale catalogue of Sotheby's from 15-16 June 1915 which listed the collection of early British, Anglo Saxon and English coins of Edward Joseph Jekyll of Ampthill.

As the younger Captain Edward Jekyll died in 1921 I suspect that this is his collection (and therefore he was the previous owner of the book in the original post). That is not to say that any collection or library of the elder Edward Jekyll wasn't passed down to his son.