a Norse Norfolk Wolf of the Iceni

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.