Group E marks the beginning of Class IV, which is defined by the change in style of the nose: while the nose resembles that of Group A, the Class IV nose is distinguished by the shortened top curve, or the downward-curving base.
With the exception of the first coin, all Group E coins have stalked lips, with the top lip joined to the base of the nose. Several changes occur in this group, the most lasting one being the new design for the lower S-scroll at the ear position on the obverse head. The inner circle nested in the lower curve of the S is here abandoned; in its place, a line issue from the center of the S-scroll, following the bottom of the S-scroll back to meet it at the end, leaving a crescent-shaped void. This change at the ear position is introduced at Coin 18, and continues for the rest of Class IV.
In order to tie in the start of Group E with the beginning of Class IV, I decided to begin this group with Coin 16, although the defining stalked lips joined to the nose starts with Coin 17, and the change in design to the S-scroll at the ear position is on Coin 18; as there was a devaluation of the coinage at the onset of Class IV, it would be interesting to discover if any of the design changes reflected this. Even if this were the case, it would be rash to assume the design change was a deliberate reflection of the devaluation. I did not include Coin 15 in this group, although the nose could be seen as a prototype to the Class IV nose, since the lines reinforcing the lips ally it more closely to Group D.
There is a possibility that the die engraver cut the dies for Coins 15 to 17 in a different order than I have shown here; certainly, Coin 17 appears to revert back to the beginning of Group D in respect to the ornamentation in front of the face. This shows a certain amount of uncertainty in the way he wanted the designs to change. The chronology is as follows:
(16, 17, ) (18, 19, 20 )
|Rybot's comment: "The drawing is made from one imperfect impression. The driver's head, cross-pole & part of the horse's head are missing; otherwise the reverse resembles that of No. (12)"|
The obverse of Coin 16 is the most flamboyant of all of the Coriosolite designs. There are no lips, and at the end of the chin is a design exactly like that of a club in a deck of playing cards, set with the top pointing towards the circle below the ear position. From the base of this device, a line issues from each side. The upper line follows the cheek section inward, curving outward and down slightly, then turns out and up to become the lower part of an S-scroll whose top section parallels the bridge of the nose, before turning down in a curl, from which a leaf hangs. The open void left at the position of the mouth is a reversed comma shape.
The lower of the two lines coming from the club-shaped ornament curves inward below the chin, turning outward in a curl in front of the neck. This curl is in opposition to the curl of the S-scroll in front of the bridge of the nose.
From the chin itself, a line runs back along the base of the jaw to a place in front of the lower part of the S-scroll at the ear position, turning upward and clockwise, down to a point on the right, where it abruptly turns counterclockwise back on itself in a small curve down to the base, leaving a crescent-shaped void. This ornament on the cheek opposes the curl in front of the neck, and echoes the line at the mouth position. Although the openness of the void at the mouth gives it a reversed comma shape instead of the crescent shape of the void at the jaw.
The nose in Coin 16 is clearly of the Class IV type, being naturalistic at the base, the top curving outward but not connecting to a whisk as it did in most of Group C and D. The ornamentation in front of the nose is inspired by the design by the design on Coin 15 of Group D.
No whisks were visible on the single specimen in the hoard.
The reverse of Coin 16 is apparently similar to that of Coin 12.
|Rybot's comment: "Two other varieties of the obverse have been noted - in one the nose is shorter and more curved. The eye slants downward & slight differences occur in the hair - in the 2nd the upper lip is absent & the nostril curves down to the lower lip. The reverse is like that of No. (12)"|
The obverse of Coin 17 contains elements borrowed from previous coins: the curl on the cheek, present on the previous coin, is here simplified to a single line. The whisks are single-leafed, resembling those of Group C. The nose is similar to that on the previous coin, but it is smaller, and the base of the nose curls down to meet the stalked lips, which are not reinforced as they were in Group D. A single beaded line issues from the lower lip and curves down beneath the chin, where it terminates in a solid curl. In front of the nose and mouth is a reversed S-scroll of the same design as the one on Coin 13. In front of the top of the nose is a backward facing crescent whose lower point is tucked in beneath the top of the nose. Around this crescent is the beaded line of the nose whisk. Note the unconnected curl floating between the first two main locks of the hair. There are two other varieties of this obverse (see Rybot's comments in the illustration).
The reverse of Coin 17 is similar to that of Coin 12.
The obverse of Coin 18 has the new design for the lower S-scroll at the ear position. This was described in the introductory paragraph of this group. This features remains unchanged for the rest of Series X. Another innovation that will be repeated commonly throughout Series X and Y is the mouth ornament. This consists of two lines that issue from the bead of the lower lip, curve around the chin, and connect in a curl in front of the neck, leaving a crescent -shaped void in front of the chin.
Nostrils are indicated on the nose; the top of the nose terminates in a large curl from which a leaf hangs. Another line issues from inside the curl, hanging parallel with the nose to its tip, where it curves inward and then turns, tendril-like, out in a curl from which a leaf rises. From the top of the nose, two lines curve forward and then back, meeting in a forward-facing curl. The void created by these lines is a truncated crescent. Within the void there appears to be a solid, crescent-shaped section. This detail was missing from the Rybot illustration of the single, imperfect specimen in the hoard, but has been reconstructed from another specimen in the British Museum (BMC 1977).
This motif is identical to the forelocks that appear on all of the coins of Series Y and Z, but does not appear on any other die of Series X. The motif might be an independent creation of this die engraver, or it might be borrowed from Series Y. The most likely explanation is, however, that the motif was part of a pre-existent repertoire that the die engraver utilized in this one instance, but subsequently abandoned, as it did not balance with the curl-and-leaf below. A line issuing from the first curl of the third lock of hair indicates the presence of whisks, although none are visible in the two imperfect specimens known to me. The ornamentation in front of the nose is a further development of that of Coin 16.
On the reverse of Coin 18, the driver appears to be of the same style as those in Group D, although very little remains on this specimen. The pony is similar to that of Coin 12, but instead of meeting at a bead, the reins from a loop at the mouth. Rybot thought that the backward-turning front hooves might be merely a distortion. The shortened beaded line beneath the pony, and the presence of only three crescents, with the third being much smaller than the other two, contradicts this hypothesis.
On the obverse of Coin 19, the die engraver again incorporates various elements from previous coins: the whisks are of the same style as those on Coin 12, although they hook onto hair curls in the manner of Coin 14. While the lowest whisk is longer than that of Coin 12, it is still leafless. The whisk at the top of the nose is of the same design as the one on Coin 13. The nose is more typically of the Class IV style, with the base curving downward from a bead at the tip of the nose. The ornament in front of the nose is an S-scroll with two downward pointing leaves, roughly following the edge of the die.
On the reverse of Coin 19, the driver's body is simplified to a thick S shape, the top part of which swells, while the thin lower part is reinforced by a solid crescent. The driver's arm is a smooth curve from the top of the body to the bead at the hand. The driver's head is detached from the body and has a diadem terminating in a curl. His mouth is represented by two beads. The pony's head is of the same style as the driver's, although there are minor differences in the proportions and in the shape of the cheek section. The reins each terminate in a bead in front of the beads of the pony's mouth.
The obverse of Coin 20 is again derivative, the whisks being of the same style as on Coin 14. The lower whisk is similar to that of Coin 19. The nose whisk is given a beaded section to match the other whisks, as on Coin 14, and is tucked in beneath the top of the nose as on Coin 19. The ornament in front of the nose is of the same design as that on Coin 13. All other features resemble Coin 19.
The only important difference on the reverse of Coin 20 is the style of the driver's body, where a naturalistic torso shape tapers down into a long "tail," terminating in a curl. The reins are similar to those on Coin 19, though they merely swell at the ends instead of ending in pronounced beads.
Owing to the small numbers and diverse designs in this group, the chronology may not be exactly as shown in the diagram. I have bracketed coins together by reason of the most important, and apparently consistent, similarities.