Moneta Gallery Coin Museum



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Rome - Aes Formatum Cockle Shell - ca. 5th-3rd centuries BCE

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Moneta



Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 2,356
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Not as impressive as the the other, larger, Aes Formatum cockle shell shown here in the Moneta Museum, but this one is in the Museum. It took a long while to hammer one down for the collection. Heritage description: Anonymous (ca. 5th-3rd centuries BC). AE aes formatum (26mm, 11.02 gm). As made. Cast leaded bronze in the form of a cockle shell. Thurlow & Vecchi p. 20. From the Salassi III Collection. These have been found in various places around the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain and Croatia, all places trading with Rome.
The Aes Formatum are the sucessor of the Aes Rude (unshaped cast bronze pieces) and the predecessor to the Aes Grave (large heavy bronze coins). These are formed pieces of cast bronze, imitating actual objects or taking on recognizable shapes. Because the Aes Formatum system did not have a standard value, the values were determined based on the weights of the individual pieces.
The Shell shape has confirmible weights varying from 5 to 121 grams. 400 BC - 201 BCE [Numista]
Fifth century Rome saw the official valuation of bronze at equivalents of oxen and sheep, when in c. 450 the decemvirs codified the Roman Law in the famous 'Twelve Tablets' which recognized the bronze currency in use in central Italy (i.e., 1000 Asserae= 1 ox, 100 lbs of bronze = 1 ox, 10 Asserae= 1 sheep, etc). A system of barter with copper objects had long existed in central Italy where copper was plentiful and valued while silver was rare and gold nearly non-existent. The Italic population had produced Aes Rude from very early times and they are often found in hoards of votive deposits to divinities of fountains and rivers from the first half of the 1st millennium B.C. down to the end of the 4th century B.C. Called aes formatum by Haeberlin, this very rare bronze currency was a precursor to the issues of aes grave but later than aes rude. [Agora Auctions; Agora Sale 28 #74. and Sale 101 #270]


VIEW: A great source of information on this very early form of "Coinage" is the NumisWiki at this [ link ]
· Date: June 26, 2023 · Views: 328 · Filesize: 146.8kb · Dimensions: 900 x 416 ·
Keywords: Rome Aes Formata Cockle Shell

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