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The chronology, and the relationship of groups to classes

Obverse features:

1.1 Parallel, or nearly so, stalked lips
1.2 "V" stalked lips
1.3 Reinforced "V" stalked lips
1.4 "V" stalked lips attached to nose
1.5 Bead lips

2.1 Ear "circle"
2.2 Ear "crescent"

3.1 Whisks around head
3.2 No whisks around head

4.1 Beaded double whisk from bridge of nose
4.2 Double whisk attached to top of nose
4.3 Ornaments at top, or in front of nose
4.4 Plain nose, no decoration in front
4.5 Small head at top, derived from X.4.3

5.1 Neck ornament or whisk
5.2 Real neck
5.3 Back of neck formed from curl-less hair

6.1 No mouth or chin ornaments
6.2 Chin ornament only
6.3 Mouth ornament only

7.1 "Class VI" nose
7.2 "Class V" nose
7.3 "Class IV" nose

Reverse features:

8.1 "Ladder" before, and boar beneath pony
8.2 Cross before, and lyre beneath pony
8.3 No cross before, but lyre beneath pony

9.1 No rein curl
9.2 Rein curl without leaves
9.3 Rein curl with leaves

10.1 Linear driver's body without "S"
10.2 Linear driver's body with "S"
10.3 Swelled linear body with "tail" curl
10.4 Solid, triangular body with "tail" curl
10.5 Segmented body with "tail" curl
10.6 Segmented body with "tail" curl and leaf

11.1 Pony's cheek section extends towards nose
11.2 Line in front of cheek section only
11.3 Solid or beaded line below cheek section
11.4 As 11.2, but pony with neck section

The coins of the classes in Series X group together for two reasons: first, their flatter fabric distinguishes them from the other classes, which are often somewhat dish-shaped or scyphate; second, their designs more clearly undergo evolutionary changes from the earliest to the latest.

Although similar in style and type (as all coins depict a human-headed pony on the reverse), these coins fall into three classes by reason of radical design changes: in the nose, on the obverse; in the emblem in front of the pony, on the reverse.

The classes can be further divided into groups where an element in the composition makes a noticeable change in its design, a good example being the design of the lips on the obverse head. In group A, they are roughly-parallel stalks; in group C, they become V-shaped - a shape which is reinforced by two lines in group D, by one line in group E, and finally, abbreviated to just the two pellets of group F through G, where this coin sequence ends.

Most often the changes like this involve multiple designs changing concurrently, indicating a deliberate intention by the die-engraver to produce clearly defined groups. For example, on the obverse of group C, not only are the lips changed, but also the relationship and design of the nose and the ornament in front, while on the reverse, a curl suspended from the reins is introduced.

The relationship of groups to classes:

Class VI: Group A

Class V: Groups B, C, D.

Class IV: Groups E, F, G.

Within some groups of Series X and Y, there can be subgroups of two distinct kinds: the first, where two or more isolated styles of varieties exist within a group; the second, where a design changes in successive, overlapping stages. That such smooth transitions are easily found indicates that while the die engraver made general changes emphasizing particular elements, he did not want to isolate them from the group to which they belonged. While the order of engraving of each die within the group can be ascertained to a degree, some judgement is necessary where the engraver, proceeding by trial and error, sometimes reverts to a previous design if dissatisfied with the one he is working on. As I have mentioned, in the chronological order; within the parentheses themselves, the chronology is harder to discern.

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