CELTIC, Central Europe. Boii. 2nd century BC. 1/24 Stater (Gold, 6 mm, 0.36 g, 12 h). Male head to left, wearing torque (?). Rev. Bird standing left, wings spread and picking at its talons. Dembski -. Flesche -. Lanz -. LT -. Paulsen -. SLM -. Unpublished and unique, a fascinating issue of great beauty. Very well centered and perfectly struck. Good extremely fine.
From an important collection of Central European Celtic coins.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting Boiian coins ever to be discovered. The reverse, a bird picking at its talons, is without parallels, but it is vaguely reminiscent of the unique 1/3 stater in Vienna showing a facing bird with spread wings (Dembski 486 = Paulsen 74). That coin, which is connected by its obverse to the early Athena Alkis series, is in itself so unusual that Dembski wondered whether it might be the result of modern tooling. There are, however, no visible signs of alteration, and the rendering of the angled wings, the long and thin beak, the roundish body and the tripartite tail of the bird on our example is so similar that one cannot help but suspect that the dies were made by the same ingenious Celtic artist. Why he would have created such unorthodox types, which completely fall out of alignment of the regular Boian coinage, in the first place is unknown, but they certainly are masterpieces of Celtic art.