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What coins are in the Harpole Treasure necklace?


Gavin Richardson
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Just recently reading on the Anglo-Saxon Harpole Treasure, which includes a necklace partially made up of "Roman coins." I could not find details beyond the popular press article. Can anyone identify the coins? They look Byzantine to me.

Apologies if there's a thread on this already. I searched "Harpole" and did not turn up anything.

https://www.cnn.com/style/article/gold-necklace-harpole-treasure-female-burial-scn/index.html

HARPOLE.png

Edited by Gavin Richardson
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My impression is that they are imitations of solidi from the joint reign of Justin I and Justinian. I wrote to a member of the team several weeks ago asking if better photos were available but received a disappointing canned response. The necklace dates to just the time when coins were coming back into monetary use in Britain after the coinless 'dark age'. 

Edited by DLTcoins
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http://www.yorkcoins.com/early_anglo-saxon_thrymsa.htm
 

This type is known from thrymsa imitations. 
F4CE24FE-3CF6-483A-96D7-037638225B8F.jpeg.87aba674dc767b35ff6aff4a4f88f08a.jpeg

The gratian original

E5F142AD-B771-4AD8-9CE7-17F8857DE73E.jpeg.2d635201f8e7847f02607d9c50f6eb1b.jpeg

A very crude imitation.

I imagine the above coins are somewhere in between these two14B5F68A-24F0-43FF-9D8F-A52B188CEBFE.jpeg.2de07a872e0ebda97da5d13612863ad2.jpeg

As for the Constantine issue theory, I dont recall many Constantinople 5th century coins being found in Anglo Saxon england (I could be wrong on that, I dont have my hoard books on hand at the moment to verify). Rather, Merovingian/Frankish/Frisian coinage is what most often made it to the continent, these usually being an imitation of some roman or Byzantine coin.

(On a sidenote, You can even see the Angel  between the two emperors on the imitation, thus eliminating the Justinian and Justin imitation theory)

Edited by TheTrachyEnjoyer
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Here is a Valens solidus REV from Trier which is very similar, but the emperors are not nimbate.    I notice the legends on the Hartlepool coins are retrograde.  This could be because the photo has been reversed.  Or, the legends truly are retrograde.   I think the coins all came from the same die as well.  Three solidi from the same die, with reversed legends, would argue strongly for locally produced imitations.

 image.jpeg.b2b864bf1421a7d760bfe28d4dcb11c6.jpegimage.jpeg.442093da7f00a3bc760fb9e512690774.jpeg

 

Here is a contemporary solidus of Valentinian II with nimbate emperors, but from Milan.  

image.jpeg.6f22dc9f273a4053bc88a454b1d1d837.jpegimage.jpeg.bb8295cb3a061ad893bbaf2906cb547b.jpeg

 

 

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1 hour ago, TheTrachyEnjoyer said:

http://www.yorkcoins.com/early_anglo-saxon_thrymsa.htm
 

This type is known from thrymsa imitations. 
F4CE24FE-3CF6-483A-96D7-037638225B8F.jpeg.87aba674dc767b35ff6aff4a4f88f08a.jpeg

The gratian original

E5F142AD-B771-4AD8-9CE7-17F8857DE73E.jpeg.2d635201f8e7847f02607d9c50f6eb1b.jpeg

A very crude imitation.

I imagine the above coins are somewhere in between these two14B5F68A-24F0-43FF-9D8F-A52B188CEBFE.jpeg.2de07a872e0ebda97da5d13612863ad2.jpeg

As for the Constantine issue theory, I dont recall many Constantinople 5th century coins being found in Anglo Saxon england (I could be wrong on that, I dont have my hoard books on hand at the moment to verify). Rather, Merovingian/Frankish/Frisian coinage is what most often made it to the continent, these usually being an imitation of some roman or Byzantine coin.

(On a sidenote, You can even see the Angel  between the two emperors on the imitation, thus eliminating the Justinian and Justin imitation theory)

This does make more sense in terms of prototypes available in 7th century Britain. Between the mid-5th century Patching Hoard and the early 7th century finds from Sutton Hoo and Crondall, there is little evidence for coin importation into Britain.

Has anyone seen images of the Harpole obverses (if they have obverses)? 

Edited by DLTcoins
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