CELTIC, Northwest Gaul. Andecavi . 2nd century BC. Stater (Base gold, 19.5mm, 7.23 g 2). Celticized head of Apollo to right, with strings of pearls ending in miniature human heads coming out of his own head and with a hippocamp above. Rev. Charioteer, driving a cart drawn by a centaur to right, holding the reins in his right hand and a long branch ending in a vexillum-like banner in his left; below, winged male figure, apparently lying prone to right. D&T 2118 (Veneti). De la Tour 6830. Depeyrot, NC VIII, 99.23 ( this coin ). Gruel & Morin 41 (Veneti). An attractive piece struck on a broad flan with excellent detail. Good very fine.
From the collection of the MoneyMuseum in Zürich, and from the Le Mans (Sarthe) Hoard, Weil, 27 March 2001, 112.
This lovely coin clearly shows how Celtic artists changed Greek standard types - this copies the gold staters of Philip II of Macedon - and made them their own. On the obverse the head of Apollo is adorned by an array of ritually decapitated heads (a sign of divine power) and, on the reverse, Philip’s biga has been turned into cart drawn by a centaur. Perhaps the most interesting figure of all is the winged male below the centaur’s feet. One would expect to see a fallen enemy but it is much more likely that the Celtic die cutter envisioned this figure as being some sort of ‘genius’ of success who is actually walking to the right, leading the centaur. This seems quite likely because when the coin is turned so that the figure is upright he is clearly walking rather than lying down.
|Price realized||4'200 CHF|
|Starting price||4'000 CHF|