Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Unmarked Continental Mint

Just before Constantius invaded Britain to defeat Allectus, a number of coins were produced at an “unmarked” continental mint. Although the location of the mint was unknown (possibly Bolougne), it is fairly certain that they were produced using workers from the Lyons mint (Bastien , RBN 1959). The style and bust types are identical to contemporaneous marked Lyons issues (LA and LB). Therefore, Sutherland, when compiling RIC VI included this issue in the Lyons mint section – numbers 14-21. Bastien in an annexe to a later work, Le Monnayage de L’Atelier de Lyons (Wetteren, 1980), - Annexe Atelier Continental Sans Marque pp.125-128 and Plate LXIX revisits this issue. He reaffirms his view that these coins were minted at an unknown continental mint prior to the invasion and concludes that, in reality, there are only four types in the issue, RIC 14a, 14b, 17a and 17b. The others listed under Lyons by Sutherland are erroneous, either unofficial or lightly struck LA or LB coins or unmarked London coins. He goes on to catalogue these four types each with two different versions; the first group with large heads (“effigies larges”) and the second with small heads (“petites effigies”). Examples of some of these coins are pictured on James Pickering’s website – see link left, and the picture above is an example of RIC VI (Lyons) 14b.