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Celtic - Complex Clues To ID - Can Anyone Help?

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 7 / Views: 477Next Topic  
Valued Member

United Kingdom
72 Posts
 Posted 01/01/2022  07:46 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add gerio2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I posted this conundrum a while back but, after more research, I'd like to repost it to see if any E. European/Gaul Celtic experts can help a bit more...

It was sold as NW Gaul Carnutes 3rd cent BC - which it can't be as the Carnutes didn't mint coins that early. I have found hints that it could be either NW Gaul OR 3rd Cent BC but not both.

The OBV looks very like a laureate head of Zeus, typical of a 3rd Cent BC Danubian imitation of Philip II as here https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=4584936 The stylised hair and laurel wreath is very distinct. This means it is not NW Gaul but the date is approx right.

The REV is either a horse, wolf or lion, (possibly winged?) with a wheel or pellet-in-amulet below. The tail curves up and round towards the animal's back. These two, esp the tail, are distinctive features. It's also worth pointing out that the animal is stationary (two vertical forelegs on the ground), whereas Celtic horses are invariably prancing, with their forelegs off the ground.

The TAIL: With one exception https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=6778003 I can find NO NW Gaul coins with a tail that rises up. Dozens of Celtic horse coins I've looked at all have their tails drooping downwards. Ditto wolves' tails. The only ones that do so apart from the example I cite are all lions. (This British one doesn't count surely? https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=4231676)

The WHEEL/PELLET: Appears on both Canutes (rarely) and other Gaulish coins see
https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=5991929 and
https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=6096304
... but it's also on the Danubian 3rd Cent BC one I linked at the start with the Apollo head on the obverse.

If you have read this far, thanks. Help to nail this one down would be much appreciated!


Diam 16.2-13.6mm
Wt 4.9 grams
Thickness 4.5mm
Bronze





Bedrock of the Community
Australia
19595 Posts
 Posted 01/01/2022  08:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The nearest I could get to the coin pictured in visual approximation is a bronze coin of the Ambiani tribe on Vcoins.
Valued Member
United Kingdom
72 Posts
 Posted 01/01/2022  09:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gerio2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks - I agree the Ambiani have some similarities but their horses seem more abstract/celticised and their laureate heads don't match - often their hair is curly not straight as in my coin.
Valued Member
United Kingdom
415 Posts
 Posted 01/01/2022  11:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JohnConduitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know about continental Celtic coins, only British. I don't think it's British.

I agree with your observations. It seems unlikely it would be 3rd Century BC. It's bronze, and while the Celts did use bronze, their first coins were gold (northern Celts) or silver (southern Celts) - they didn't have a cash-based society until much later, and bronze wouldn't have been a good choice for trade with the Romans, to buy mercenaries or for votive offerings.

The style also doesn't suggest it can be so old. As you've pointed out, early Celtic coinage derived from Greek issues, and to start with they were a lot more artistic and less abstract - I think they were still recognisable copies until around 125BC (after which 'third generation' coins were more abstract). The circle and pellet is very common across Celtic coins, and derives from chariot wheels on the originals. To get to the point where this is just a disassociated roundel suggests it is copying an issue that had already devolved.

It could, then, be some sort of bronze copy of the Danube silver imitation tetradrachm you found. For it to be so much smaller, cruder and made of base metal, I would think it would have to be a lot later (e.g. 50BC-50AD), when the locals were using cash and needed small change.

Of course, it might not be Celtic at all. They were making bronze imitations of Greek coins further east a lot earlier. I wouldn't even know if it is genuine. Where did you get it from?
Edited by JohnConduitt
01/01/2022 2:16 pm
Valued Member
United Kingdom
72 Posts
 Posted 01/02/2022  04:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gerio2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks John, very helpful. I'd missed the point about the metal also pushing the date forward. I've been put in touch with a Celtic specialist who I hope can help further. I'll report back on that if I hear from them.
Valued Member
Canada
266 Posts
 Posted 01/05/2022  12:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add arnoldoe to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Most likely a modern fake..
Valued Member
United Kingdom
415 Posts
 Posted 01/05/2022  1:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JohnConduitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Most likely a modern fake..

Yes there are a few on eBay not too dissimilar.
Valued Member
United Kingdom
72 Posts
 Posted 01/06/2022  12:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gerio2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Depressing if so. Let's see that the celtic expert replies.
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