Celtic Coinage of Britain

third edition

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V626-01

 

Plate 24

Iceni    (Info)

Early Uninscribed Gold Types

 

 

 

Earlier Freckenham Types    Icenian B

V626-01V626-04V626-07V626-09V626-12

 

 

 

Earlier Freckenham Types    Icenian B

V624-01V624-04 V624-07Irstead Type Quarter StaterV628-01

 

 

 

Later Freckenham Gold Types    Icenian B

V620-01V620-04V620-05V620-07V620-07 anotherV620-09Stepping Horse Quarter StaterV629-01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V626-01

626 - 01    Earlier Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Scarce

Gold Stater    5.70 gms.    18 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

 

OBV: Floral pattern

Identifying points:

    1) flower superimposed on cross of pellets

    2) stylized three-petal flower with central pellet surrounded by circle

    3) curved lines in angles of pellet-cross

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) seven or eight-spoked wheel below horse

    2) large outline crescent decorated with zigzag line and pellets

    3) three pellets in triangular pattern below outline crescent

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Relative dating based on die-linking within the hoard

  - Reverse die often worn

  - Modern forgery known, see 626 - 01F

  - Standard weight given

  - Many are in museums

 

 

 

 

V626-04

626 - 04    Earlier Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Extremely Rare

Gold Stater    5.70 gms.    18 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

 

OBV: Floral pattern

Identifying points:

    1) flower superimposed on cross of pellets

    2) flower and surrounding circle larger than on 626 - 01

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) four-spoked wheel below horse

    2) daisy surrounded by circle above horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Dating as 626 - 01

  - Standard weight given

  - Many are in museums

 

 

 

 

V626-07

626 - 07    Earlier Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.       Rare

Gold Stater    5.70 gms.    18 mm

 

Earliest Record: Allen, 1960

 

OBV: Floral pattern

Identifying points:

    1) flower superimposed on cross of pellets

    2) flower and surrounding circle larger than on 626 - 01

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) four-spoked wheel below horse

    2) five or six-spoked wheel with pellets around above horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Dating as 626 - 01

  - Type die-linked to 626 - 04

  - Standard weight given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

 

V626-09

626 - 09    Earlier Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Very Rare

Gold Stater    5.70 gms.    18 mm

 

Earliest Record: Mack, 1953

 

OBV: Floral pattern

Identifying points:

    1) flower superimposed on cross of pellets

    2) flower and surrounding circle larger than on 626 - 04 and 626 - 07

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) large wheel with more than four spokes above horse

    2) daisy below horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Dating as 626 - 01

  - Standard weight given

  - Many are in museums

 

 

 

 

V626-12

626 - 12     Earlier Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Very Rare

Gold Stater    5.70 gms.    17 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

 

OBV: Floral pattern

Identifying points:

    1) flower superimposed on cross of pellets

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) six-spoked wheel above horse

    2) circle with line across centre below horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Dating as 626 - 01

  - Die-break on obverse die

  - Type die-linked to 626 - 04

  - Standard weight given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

V624-01

624 - 01    Earlier Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.       Extremely Rare

Gold Stater    5.70 gms.    16 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

 

OBV: Cross of pellets

Identifying points:

    1) field plain except for pellets

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) four-spoked wheel above horse

    2) eight-spoked wheel below horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Obverse die shows faint traces of other design elements

  - Relative dating based on die-linking within the Freckenham Hoard

  - Standard weight given

  - Some are in museums

  - Modern forgery exists – see 624 - 01F

 

 

 

 

V624-04

624 - 04    Earlier Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Extremely Rare

Gold Stater    5.70 gms.    16 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

 

OBV: Cross of pellets

Identifying points:

    1) pellet-in-ring motif in centre

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) three pellets in triangular arrangement below horse

    2) above horse: arch with two lobes, each of which contains two pellets

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Relative dating based on die-linking within the hoard

  - Reverse die often worn

  - Standard weight given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

V624-07

624 - 07    Earlier Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.       Extremely Rare

Gold Stater    5.70 gms.    16 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

 

OBV: Cross of pellets

Identifying points:

    1) pellet-in-ring motif in centre

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) three pellets in triangular arrangement above horse

    2) eight-spoked wheel below horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Relative dating based on die-linking within the Freckenham Hoard

  - Standard weight given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

V628-01 new was 628-01 another

628 - 01     Irstead Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.       Common

Gold Quarter Stater    ca. 0.9 gms.    12 mm

 

Earliest Record: Stukeley, 1762 (manuscript)

 

OBV: Elaborate wreath motif

Identifying points:

    1) box comprising of lines in centre

    2) branched wreaths at sides of box

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) ring-and-pellet motif below horse

    2) pellet below horse's tail

    3) crescent above horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - The coin from the Mack collection is the one recorded in Stukeley's 1762 manuscript for Twenty-three Plates of the Coins of the Ancient British Kings

  - Typical weight given

  - Celtic Coin Index records now indicate commoner than previously thought

 

 

 

 

V620-01

620-1    Later Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D       Extremely Rare

Gold Stater    5.25-5.55 gms.    17 mm

 

Earliest Record :Evans, 1864

 

OBV: Opposed crescents

Identifying points:

    1) symmetrical design with opposed crescents as dominant element

    2) crescents superimposed on cross of pellets

    3) ring and pellet motifs at the four points of the crescents

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) daisy above and below horse

    2) ring and pellet motif above horse's tail

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

V620-04

620 - 04    Later Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D      Very Rare

Gold Stater    5.25-5.55 gms.    16 mm

 

Earliest Record: Poste, 1853

 

OBV: Opposed crescents with stars

Identifying points:

    1) symmetrical design with opposed crescents as dominant element

    2) two large five-pointed stars

    3) triangular arrangement of three pellets

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) cog wheel below horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Typical weight given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

V620-05

620 - 05     Later Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D      Extremely Rare

Gold/Bronze Plated Stater    5.3 gms.    19 mm

 

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

 

OBV: Opposed crescents with stars

Identifying points:

    1) as 620 - 01

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) as 620 - 01

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Ancient forgery of 620 - 04

  - Actual weight of illustrated coin given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

V620-07

620 - 07    Later Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Rare

Gold Stater    5.25-5.55 gms.    17 mm

 

Earliest Record: Allen, 1960

 

OBV: Opposed crescents with triple pellets

Identifying points:

    1) symmetrical design with opposed crescents as dominant element

    2) crescents superimposed on single line of pellets

    3) triangular arrangement of three pellets below crescents

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) ring of pellets enclosing triangular arrangement of three pellets all above horse

    2) another triangular arrangement of pellets above horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - As 620 - 01

  - Typical weight given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

V620-07 another

620 - 07    Later Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Rare

Gold Stater    5.25-5.55 gms.    17 mm

 

Earliest Record: Allen, 1960

 

OBV: Opposed crescents with triple pellets

Identifying points:

    1) symmetrical design with opposed crescents as dominant element

    2) crescents superimposed on single line of pellets

    3) triangular arrangement of three pellets below crescents

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) ring of pellets enclosing triangular arrangement of three pellets all above horse

    2) another triangular arrangement of pellets above horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - As 620 - 01

  - Typical weight given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

V620-09

620 - 09     Later Freckenham Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D      Extremely Rare

Gold Stater    5.25-5.55 gms.    17 mm

 

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

 

OBV: Opposed crescents with pellets

Identifying points:

    1) symmetrical design with opposed crescents as dominant element

    2) minimal ornamentation in field

    3) pellets at ends of crescents

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) daisy above horse

    2) six-pointed star below horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Typical weight given

  - Some are in museums

 

 

 

 

V629-01 new was 628-01

629 - 01    Stepping Horse Type

15 B.C. - 20 A.D.      Very Rare

Gold Quarter Stater    ca. 0.9 gms.    12 mm

 

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

 

OBV: Elaborate wreath motif

Identifying points:

    1) box comprising of lines in centre

    2) branched wreaths at sides of box

 

REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

    1) ring-and-pellet motif below horse

    2) pellet below horse's tail

    3) trefoil above horse

 

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian B

 

NOTES:

  - Typical weight given

  - John Talbot cautions this may be a localized issue

  - Portable Antiquity Scheme records indicate type is Very Rare

 

 

 

 

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