An attractive Wonersh gold horse in sun spirals

Wonersh horse featured
Wonersh horse, gold stater
Image copyright Chris Rudd 2018

Wonersh. Sills British Ma, dies 2/1.c.50-40 BC. Gold stater. 17mm. 5.34g. Cruciform motif of beaded bands, two outline crescents back-to-back in centre, hairlocks and other ornaments in angles./ Horse right, solar spiral above, pellet and six-spoked wheel with axle below, ‘coffee bean’ and pellets above head forming elliptical snake. ABC 527, VA 1520, BMC 351-353, DK 197, S 36. CCI 11.0807 (this coin). Good VF, rose-gold, well centred horse, clear solar spiral and wheel. Ex Burford collection. EXCESSIVELY RARE die pair, only three others recorded.           

“Wonersh gold staters are named after a gold hoard found by a shepherd boy called Goodchild on Thursday, 24 February 1848, near Albury railway station, Surrey, a couple of miles from Wonersh (‘Crooked Field’) and not far from Farley Heath temple site (where some say the hoard was found). Copied from Westbury staters of the Catuvellauni (‘Middle Whaddon Chase. Big Wheel Type’, ABC 2442), Wonersh staters are among the most attractive in the Ancient British series, thanks to the vigorous swirling spiral above the horse. Finders know our clients like them and know we pay good money to get the best ones; which may be why, of the 34 known examples, no fewer than eleven have come to us (nine are in museums). Found near Chichester, West Sussex, the above is a real beauty”

Thank you Chris Rudd for image and auction text

This coin is in Chris Rudd list 161 and bidding available 8th October on The Saleroom here 

There’s something so happy about this sun spiral horse.


Parisii gold stater, Class 2

Parisii. Gold stater,

Parisii. Gold stater, ca. 100-50 BC. Class 2. Obv. Stylized head of Apollo right. Rev. Stylized horse galloping left, ornate wing above, rosette below. BN 7782; Blanchet 343; CdB p. 8-9, 1-6 (class 2). Gold. 7.32 g. Very rare.

Chaponnière & Firmenich SA Auction 8 4 (« | ») 05.07.2017

Estimate:  50’000 CHF
Hammer: 55’000 CHF

“Due to the modernity of their style, the gold staters of the Parisii are among the most valuable and sought-after coins of Celtic Gaul. The exceptional profile portrait featured on the obverse of this rare Class 2 specimen offers surprising parallels with certain Cubist or Surrealist portraits. This is not surprising when we know that artists such as André Breton collected them for these reasons. They are, according to him and André Malraux, rare testimonies of an early Western art, an original culture anterior to the arrival in Gaul, of the Greco-Latin traditions brought from Rome, and then imposed by Caesar.

“The Parisii derived their important resources from the control of the middle region of the Seine River. Gold was abundant because the river was one of the main trading routes to Cornwall, where tin was extracted and then exported all over Europe, to produce bronze of high quality. Legend has it that the Parisii had taken as their capital, the “Ile de la Cité”, in the heart of Paris, and named it Lutetia. The archaeological reality seems less romantic: it was actually Nanterre, the present traffic filled sub-urban zone, where they seem to have settled… This tribe particularly distinguished themselves for their resistance against the Roman invader, and would furnish nearly eight thousand men to the Celtic coalition led by Vercingetorix. The territory of the Parisii would be the last battlefield of the belligerents, and where the Gallic War ended. Less rare than the Class 1, this Class 2 type appears very rarely on the market.”

Thank image and auction text Chaponnière & Firmenich SA and acsearch.

Whaddon Bird

Crested head left with coiled hair, small animal in front, ringed-pellets around

Horse right, beaded mane, winged object before, bird above, beaded pellet below
Images copyright Chris Rudd

Images copyright Chris RuddWhaddon Bird. c.55-45 BC. Silver unit. 13mm. 1.16g. Crested head left with coiled hair, small animal in front, ringed-pellets around./ Horse right, beaded mane, winged object before, bird above, beaded pellet below. ABC 2481, VA 1546, BMC 377-79, S 50. Near EF, lightly toned silver, fabulous head, whole bird. VERY RARE type, only 20 others recorded, 9 of them chipped. 

The crested head was originally derived from the helmeted head of Roma on Roman denarii. The animal before the head and winged object clearly link the coin iconographically with ABC 2380 and 2383 and Whaddon gold types.

Thank you Chris Rudd for images and auction text. 


a Norse Norfolk Wolf of the Iceni

Norfolk Wolf

There’s a splendid example of a Norfolk Wolf coming up in the Chris Rudd auction closing 15th July 2018.

Norfolk Wolf
image copyright Chris Rudd

Lot 17. Norfolk Wolf. Right Type with Hook Fibula and Hidden Face.

“Talbot JA, die group 4, dies M/15. c.55-50 BC. Gold stater. 16mm. 6.14g. Icenian wreath motif with upward-facing leaves./ Wolf standing right with open jaws, teeth and tongue visible, two tiny pellets, large pellet and crescent below (forming smiling face), beaded exergual line with crescents and pellets below. ABC 1393, VA 610-1, BMC 213-216, S 30. EF, neat chunky flan of golden gold, beautifully centred with well struck wolf and fabulous fibula.

One of the nicest we’ve seen for a while. A wonderful wolf stater in brilliant condition. Securely provenanced. EXTREMELY RARE die pair, only six others recorded

Est. £2000 £1600.

In Made for Trade (2017) Dr John Talbot says that it is tempting to see die-group 1 of the Norfolk Wolf Right staters “as an ‘emergency’ minting somehow connected to the resistance to Caesar, or to the annual tribute which he demanded of One of the nicest wolves we’ve seen for a while”

You can bid for this Wolf on Chris Rudd auction in  the-saleroom here 

“Why is there a wolf on the first gold coins of the Iceni?

Other tribes invariably show Apollo’s sun-horse. So why did the Iceni decide to be different from everyone else? We believe their choice was determined by geography and genetics. Dr Daphne Nash Briggs says: “Norfolk’s post-glacial founder population was from northern Europe and took permanent root on the British seaboard when the North Sea flooded the Dogger lowlands. There is no subsequent break in the cultural continuity of rural life in pre-Roman Norfolk” (The Iron Age in Northern East Anglia: New Work in the Land of the Iceni, ed. John A.Davies, BAR 2011, p.96). Which is why there are signs of Norse influence on the coins of the Iceni.

The wolf features prominently in Norse mythology, as does Odin. So it is surely not surprising that the wolf and Odin can both be seen on Icenian coins such as ABC 1393-99, 1459, 1504 and 1531-37. It’s seventeen years since we first drew attention to the connection between Icenian iconography and Norse mythology. So it’s nice to know the notion is gaining traction. See No.17. ”

Thank you Chris Rudd for image and auction article.

Clavdivs Triumphant, Gold Aureus, De Britann

Claudius Aureus Triumphal Arch inscribed De Britann

Claudius triumphant.  Claudius of a Britannia subdued by force of Roman arms.  A demon coin for #romanbritain collectors. To be sold at Dix Noonan Webb on April 25th 2018.

Claudius Aureus Triumphal Arch inscribed De Britann

ANCIENT COINS, Claudius (41-54), Aureus, Rome, 46-7, laureate bust right, ti clavd caesar avg p m tr p vi imp xi, rev. de britann on architrave of triumphal arch, surmounted by equestrian statue, 7.83g (Calicó 349; RIC 33; C 17; Sear 1830; S 633). About very fine, rare

Sold for £6,500

Provenance: C. Anthony Collection; G.R. Blake Collection [from Seaby 1948]; SCMB July 1964 (AG 1584); A.L. Wade Collection, Glendining Auction, 27-8 October 1971, lot 544

Thank you DNW for image and auction text. see here:

Carausius denarius, Lion with a Thunderbolt

Carausius Lion with Thunderbolt

Dix Noon Webb auction tomorrow 21st February 2018 features a powerful Lion on a denarius of Carausius.

Carausius, Denarius, London, c. 289-90,
Thirteenth Sybilline Oracle “Then shall a dread and fearful lion come, sent from the sun, and bearing forth much flame”
Carausius, Denarius, London, c. 289-90, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, imp caravsivs pi avg, rev. virtvs saec c, radiate lion left with thunderbolt in mouth, rsr in exergue, 3.66g (Shiel –; RSC –; cf. RIC 591; Sear –). Of fine style and workmanship, extremely fine and extremely rare, an exceptional specimen £7,000-9,000

Thank you DNW for auction text, image and footnote text.


Although in direct revolt against the Emperor Diocletian in Rome, Carausius went to extraordinary lengths to legitimise the foundation of his break-away empire in Britain and portray it as a new Golden Age. Just as Augustus had done in 17BC, he represented his new power as the fulfilment of a prophecy and the longed-for re-establishment of peace. The Secular Games were celebrated as part of this cyclical rebirth at intervals of 100 or 110 years from Augustus’ date or from the foundation of the city of Rome in 753BC. Thus Claudius celebrated them in 47, Domitian in 88, Septimius Severus in 204 and Philip II in 248. The defeat of Maximian’s fleet around 289 strengthened Carausius’ position in Britain and could be seen as heralding a new age of tranquility and an appropriate moment to celebrate the Secular Games. The striking of an antoninianus (RIC 393) of similar design to those issued by previous emperors dates Carausius’ Games to his fourth Consulship, 289-90.

The design of a lion with a thunderbolt in its mouth may refer to a passage in the Thirteenth Sybilline Oracle “Then shall a dread and fearful lion come, sent from the sun, and bearing forth much flame”
[see Graham Barker: ‘The Coinage of Carausius: Developing the Golden Age Ideology through the Saecular Games’, NC 2015, pp.161-170]




Claudius Constantine II, King of the Britons, silver Siliqua from Lugdunum

Constantine II King of Britons siliqua o

A silver siliqua of “Claudius Constantine II, King of the Britons(1), minted in Lugdunum. He is more commonly known as Constantine III, 407-411,  who, declared emperor by troops in Britain in the traditional manner, took most of the remaining legions to Gaul “to attempt its rescue from the barbarians”(2). Again, taking the legions to Gaul was traditional for Emperors declared in Britain. They always felt that they must rescue Gaul too.

But in Gaul, despite achieving recognition and co-Emperorship from Honorius,  Constantine III was unsuccessful and the Saxons invaded both Gaul and Britain in 409.  With Irish raiders still threatening in the west and under Saxon onslaught from the sea, the Britons disavowed Constantine III, deposed his officials and instigated  “fresh troop enrolled to replace those who had gone to Gaul, and military operations undertaken with vigour against the invaders.” (3)

Zozimus, based on the contemporary historian Olympiodorus, says the “Britons fought gallantly and freed their cities from the barbarians” (4).  In 410 a despatch from the Emperor Honorius arrived authorizing the Britons to take measures for their own defence. (5). Britain was still  a Roman province.

Meanwhile Constantine III’s position disintegrated. He was ,defeated in Italy, betrayed by Gerontius (his general in Spain), defeated again and besieged in Arles. He ended a prisoner of Honorius’ Pannonian soldier-general Constantius, the future co-Emperor Constantius III, who had him beheaded on the way to Ravenna in 411.

Constantine II King of Britons siliqua o

Constantine III, 407-411,
AR Siliqua, 15.5mm, 1.3g, Lugdunum, 408-411;
obverse: D N CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right /
reverse: VICTORI A AAVGGG, Roma seated left on cuirass holding Victory on globe and inverted spear, SMLD in exergue; RIC X 1531, RSC 4B, small flan.


  • Edward Foorde, The Last Age of Roman Britain, 1925.
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae (The history of the kings of Britain), c. 1136.
  • Zosimus, Historia Nova. Book 6, c 518.
  • Thomas Clanvowe, De gestis Britonum, c  1380.

(1) Geoffrey of Monmouth,

(2) Foorde, pg. 131

(3) Foorde, pg. 131

(4) Zosimus vi, 6

(5) Foorde, pg. 132

Julian II, silver Siliqua from the East Harptree hoard

Julian II siliqua from Harptree hoard obverse

The East Harptree Hoard was found in 1887 by a labourer searching in the Mendip hills for a new spring for the village .

He uncovered some sort of pewter jar. It contained 1,496 silver coins, five ingots of silver and a ring set with an intaglio. The coins covered the period between the reigns of Constantine the Great and Gratian – from 306 until 383.

The hoard was probably deposited around 375 – as the western Roman world destabilized and the process of Roman withdrawal from Britain had begun.

There were 718 silver coins from Julian II. This is one of them.

Julian II siliqua from Harptree hoard
Julian II, 360-363;
AR Siliqua, 18mm, 2.00 g, 12h, Lugdunum mint, 360-361;
obverse: FL CL IVLIA NVS P P AVG, pearl and rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right /
reverse: VICTORIA DD NN AVG, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm frond, LVG in exergue;

RIC VIII 213, Lyon 259, RSC 58†d; crack at 12h, from the East Harptree Hoard.


Marker page to add image to Coin Talk

T 2210 William IV Trampling LIberty token

I wonder why there are two lions for Liberty?

Satirical token from 1837. Obverse legend: WILLIAM IIII DIED 20 JUNE 1837. Reverse legend: BY TRAMPLING ON LIBERTY I LOST THE REINS.

This token issued in 1837 on death of William IV. But the reverse dates back to 1830.  “BY TRAMPLING ON LIBERTY I LOST THE REINS”
My attribution ticket says:
“Rider on horseback under attack by two lions. In 1830 there appeared a small satirical disc marking the downfall of the Duke of Wellington’s government and his replacement as Premier by Lord Grey with the assistance of William IV; the reverse type  with “BY TRAMPLING ON LIBERTY I LOST THE REINS” inscription was reused on an obituary disc of William IV in 1837 (MINOR PRODUCTS OF BRITISH NINETEENTH CENTURY DIESINKING BY R.N.P. Hawkins)”