443/1 #09192-39 CAESAR Julius Caesar Gaul mint 49BC Elephant snake Simpulum sprinkler axe apex Denarius
Denarius. 49BC. 3.86grams. Southern Gaul Caesar camp mint. Caesar. Crawford 443/01 CAESAR. Obverse: elephant r, dragon CAESAR. Reverse: simpulum, sprinkler, axe, apex, Main mint more common style with carefully sculpted elephant, serif lettering and thicker reverse devices. Common.
Dating and mint location as per Bernhard Woytek's, Arma et nummi, 2003, as amended by Woytek's article on multiple dies, 2006.
A better than average example that was remarkably difficult to photograph. In colour this coin is blazing shiny white and close to EF but any photo that reflected the colour has all the details washed out. So inevitably the photo looks a bit darker than the coin an doesn't reflect its brilliance fully. There is an interesting bit of ancient graffiti in the offstruck flat space on the obverse.
Woytek in Arma et Nummi andrewmccabe.ancients.info/Studies.html#imper deals very extensively with the type on pages 119ff, from just about every conceivable angle. On page 132 he addresses the two different styles. The coinage is divided into a large, "good" style issue and a smaller "bad" style issue ("good" and "bad" being Woytek's terms). A key distinguisher is of course the elephant, with the bad style issue having a large head whose back is of the same dimensions as the body i.e. blends into the body. A further characteristis is the relative position of the legs, the good style issue having Lambda form legs, ie at a clear angle to each other, the bad having Pi-form i.e. more or less parallel. Some of the points from my earlier note are also indicators e.g. serifs. A few coins of the bad style don't have all the characteristics of the bad style - they are not so uniform as those of good style, but are still recognisable as bad style. He reckons that good style outnumber bad style 2 to 3 times.