CELTIC, Central Europe. Helvetii (?). Late 4th to early 3rd century BC. Stater (Gold, 18 mm, 8.47 g, 10 h), 'type de Soy au canthare', imitating Philip II of Macedon. Laureate head of Apollo to right. Rev. ΦΙΛΙΠΠOY Charioteer driving biga to right, holding reins in his left hand and kentron in his right; below the horses, kantharos. Allen, SNR 53 (1974), 3. DT 2001. Flesche 123. LT -. SLM 375. Extremely rare and perhaps the finest known. A wonderful and very sharp piece of splendid, very early style. Faint marks, otherwise, extremely fine.
From a Swiss collection.
Exactly where this wonderful coin was struck is unclear: Delestrée and Tache attribute it to the Armorica region in northwestern France while Allen saw it as Helvetian issue. Find spots include Brittany, Central France, Switzerland, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, an unusually large-scale pattern that indicates that the issue was used mostly in trade. The present piece is of very early style: it must have been struck in the late 4th or in the early 3rd century BC at the latest, when the first Macedonian prototypes from Pella were reaching the vastnesses of Celtic Europe.