Celtic Coinage of Britain

third edition

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<610-06

 

Plate 23

Iceni    (Info)

 

 

 

Icenian Earliest Uninscribed Gold Coins

Norfolk Wolf Type    Icenian A

V610-01V610-02V610-03V510-05V610-05

 

 

 

Icenian Earliest Uninscribed Silver Coins

Bury Type    Icenian A

V645-01 new was 80-01

 

 

 

Icenian Early Uninscribed Gold and Silver Coins

Snettisham Type    Icenian B

Gold CoinsV615-01 new was 1505-01Silver Coins V665-01 V665-03 V665-05 Link V665-07V665-09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V610-01

610 - 01    Norfolk Wolf Type

50-15 B.C.      Scarce

Gold Stater    5.7-6.2 gms.    16 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

 

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right

Identifying points:

    1) laurel leaves upwards

 

REV: Wolf right

Identifying points:

    1) pellet and solid crescent below wolf

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

 

NOTES:

  - See modern forgery 610 - 0IF

  - Typical weight given

  - Most are in museums

 

 

 

 

Ancient plated forgery from the 1843 Marks Tey Hoard

 

 

 

 

V610-02

610 - 02     Norfolk Wolf Type

50-15 B.C.      Very Rare

Gold Stater    5.7 6.2 gms.    17 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

 

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right

Identifying points:

    1) Laurel leaves downwards

 

REV: Wolf left

Identifying points:

    1) pellet and solid crescent below wolf

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

 

NOTES:

  - Typical weight given

  - Change in laurel leaves' direction may indicate a change in weight or metal content

 

 

 

 

V610-03

610 - 03    Norfolk Wolf Type

50-15 B.C.      Common

Gold Stater    5.7-6.2 gms    17 mm

 

Earliest Record:Evans, 1864

 

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right

Identifying points:

    1) laurel leaves downwards

 

REV: Wolf left

Identifying points:

    1) large pellet and triangular arrangement of three pellets below wolf

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

 

NOTES:

  - Typical weight given

  - Change in laurel leaves' direction may indicate a change in weight or metallic content

 

 

 

 

V610-05

610 - 05    Norfolk Wolf Type

50-15 B.C.      Very Rare

Gold/Bronze Plated Stater    ca. 4.4 gms.    21 mm

 

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

 

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right

Identifying points:

    1) as 610 - 03

 

REV: Wolf left

Identifying points:

    1) as 610 - 03

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

 

NOTES:

  - Actual weight of illustrated coin given

  - Ancient forgery

 

 

 

 

V610-06

610 - 06     Norfolk Wolf Type

65-45 B.C.      Extremely Rare

Gold/Bronze Plated Stater    4.37 gms.    20 mm

Earliest Record: Roth I sale, 1917 (Marks Tey find) Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge

 

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right

Identifying points:

    1) as 610 - 01

    2) laurel leaves upwards

 

REV: Wolf right

Identifying points:

    1) as 610 - 01

    2) pellet and solid crescent below wolf

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

 

NOTES:

  - Ancient forgery

  - Weight of illustrated coin given

  - Illustrated coin is the Marks Tey find

  - Allen, 1960 suggested it came from either the 1807 or 1843 hoards

  - Recent work by de Jersey suggests the 1843 hoard is the source

  - Rarity estimate 2016

 

 

 

 

V645-01 new was 80-01

645 - 01    Bury Type

50-15 B.C.      Common

Silver Unit     1.2 gms.    14 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

 

OBV: Celticized head left

Identifying points:

    1) head wears diadem

    2) large reverse 'S' in front of face

 

REV: Celticized horse left

Identifying points:

    1) pellet-in-ring motif below horse

    2) large pellet in ring motif above horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Gallo-Belgic XD

 

NOTES:

  - Typical weight given

  - Allen described as British LX10

  - Reverse of Hosidius type of the Corieltauvi (855-3) derived from this coin

  - Previously was 80 - 01 but John Talbot reports that large numbers of finds since 1989 demonstrate the type is British, not Continental, and should be assigned to the Iceni

 

 

 

 

V615-01 new was 1505-01

615 - 01     Snettisham Type

40-15 B.C.      Very Rare

Gold Stater    5.9-5.4 gms.    16 mm

 

Earliest Record: Mack, 1953

 

OBV: Almost plain

Identifying points:

    1) slight traces of crossed wreaths from Middle Whaddon Chase Type

 

REV: Romanized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) circle with pellet above horse

    2) circle with pellet below horse

    3) horse's tail made up of two lines

    4) four pellets above horse's neck

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian P

 

NOTES:

  - Typical weight given, date range based on heaviest weight

  - Most are in museums

  - Previously attributed to the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni as a Late Whaddon Chase Type (1505 - 01), but now identified as an early Icenian issue by John Talbot

 

 

 

 

V665-07

665 - 07     Celtic Head Type

20 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Rare

Silver Unit    13 mm

 

Earliest Record: Mack, 1964

 

OBV: Celticized head right

Identifying points:

    1) eye comprised of rectangular box with line in centre

    2) no ear

    3) 'coffee bean' for mouth

    4) hair comprised of herring-bone pattern of lines

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) ring-and-pellet motifs above, below and in front of horse

    2) pellet below horse's tail

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian E

 

 

 

 

V665-09

665 - 09    Celtic Head Type

20 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Extremely Rare

Silver Unit    14 mm

 

Earliest Record: Mack, 1964

 

OBV: Celticized head right

Identifying points:

    1) Head indistinct, with little detail

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) eight-spoked wheel above horse

    2) three pellets above horse's head

    3) ring, possibly with several pellets inside, below horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian E

 

Notes:

  - This type has been conflated with 665 - 03 by some authors  –  See 665 - 03

 

 

 

 

The Coinage of the Iceni

 

The Iceni occupied the area that is today Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Cambridgeshire. Until the time of the Gallic War, the tribe seems economically isolated. Large Flan, Defaced Die and Abstract Design Type staters are not commonly found in Icenian territory, and presumably few were imported. Locally-made coins, the NORFOLK WOLF TYPE staters and BURY TYPE silver, were first produced late in the Gallic War. The earliest Icenian gold coinage comprises gold staters with the abstracted head of Apollo on the obverse and a disjointed wolf on the reverse. The heavy weight indicates the series began some time around the end of the war. After the war, the coins become quite debased and bronze cores of plated staters occur with some frequency. Later, a small coinage of SNETTISHAM TYPE coins were struck in gold and silver.

 

Apparently, extensive trading contacts developed during the war with the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni. A small number of Gallic War Type staters are found and uninscribed staters of the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni also appear. After the war, the coins of Addedomaros and Tasciovanus circulated. It is possible the Iceni relied on these imports instead of striking their own gold in volume.

 

About 20 B.C., the gold content of the Icenian coinage was restored with the introduction of the FRECKENHAM TYPE. Staters and quarters were struck lighter in weight to conform with the coinages of the other British tribes. The staters had a flower pattern or cross of pellets on the obverse and a Celticized horse on the reverse. Three major types occurred, described either as EARLIER and LATER, based on style and the progressive damage to one particular die linked with several others. Since all three types occurred in the Freckenham Hoard, it is likely they were contemporary.

 

After the war an extensive Icenian silver coinage was produced, which probably continued up to the time of the Boudiccan Rebellion. Silver units were produced to a standard weight of 1.25g. for nearly 100 years, a remarkable economic and technological achievement. There was a bewildering succession of types, subtypes and minor die varieties. These varieties have been systematically analyzed by John Talbot, and the arrangement is now reasonably certain. It appears that in any given period, three separate kinds of silver were being struck. Talbot suggests that the main Icenian mint either had two branch mints, or alternatively three workshops within a single mint. It is also possible that the different kinds of silver were either produced for different purposes, or perhaps at different times within a given period. Generally, the absolute chronology needs additional work. The chronology used here makes use of the work reported in John Talbot and Ian Leins's 2010 paper in The British Numismatic Journal.

 

The FRECKENHAM TYPE disappeared by 20 A.D. and the uninscribed silver coins were superseded by the dynastic. Very few inscribed gold coins are known. It is possible the gold coinage was minimal and the Iceni used silver coins augmented with Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian gold after 20 A.D. The Icenian dynastic period is largely one of a prolific silver coinage, beginning with the addition of an inscriptions to the CRESCENT TYPE and the introduction of the EMBLEM TYPE.

 

Most of the major types are listed here, but some of the minor issues need to be added. The dating of the various issues is controversial and that offered is somewhat arbitrary, based on die studies, typological sequences and analyses of coin hoards deposited around the rebellion of 61 A.D.

 

Copyright R. D. Van Arsdell 2017