CELTIC, Northwest Gaul. Uncertain tribe. 3rd to first half of 2nd century BC. Half Stater (Electrum, 18 mm, 4.29 g, 8 h), 'au bateau-glaive' type. Laureate head of Apollo to right. Rev. Celticized charioteer driving biga to right, holding reins with his right hand and ship with his left; below the horse, sword; before, grain ear on long stalk; in exergue, imitative legend in the form of a braided ribbon with grain ear below. DT 2047. LT 6927 var. (gold). Scheers, Rouen, 270. Very rare. A very attractive piece with exceptionally clear reverse symbols. Minor edge filing from mounting, otherwise, good very fine.
From the Keltika Collection, Switzerland.
The rendering of the ship held by the charioteer on the reverse is remarkably reminiscent of Caesar's description of the ships of the Veneti, 220 of which Decimus Iunius Brutus Albinus was facing in a large-scale naval battle off the coast of Aremorica (Brittany) in 56 BC: 'The keels were somewhat flatter than those of our ships, whereby they could more easily encounter the shallows and the ebbing of the tide: the prows were raised very high, and, in like manner the sterns were adapted to the force of the waves and storms' (Caesar bell. gall. XIII, 13).