The Celtic people, the subject of a British
Museum exhibit that opened Sept. 24, fascinate.
Today the word “Celtic” is associated with the cultures, languages,
music, and traditions of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany,
and the Isle of Man. Yet the name Celts was first recorded around 500
B.C., when the ancient Greek referred to peoples living across a broad
swath of Europe north of the Alps, according to the British Museum.
“The Greeks saw these outsiders as barbarians, far removed from the
civilised world of the Mediterranean. They left no written records of
their own, but today archaeology is revealing new insights into how
they lived,” according to a press release from the museum. “Modern
research suggests that these were disparate groups rather than a
single people, linked by their unique stylised art. This set them
apart from the classical world, but their technological
accomplishments stand on a par with the finest achievements of Greek
and Roman artists.”
A debased gold stater in Nomos Ag’s auction No. 11, scheduled for
Oct. 9, highlights the connections between the Celtic and Greek cultures.
The second century B.C. coin was issued by the Andecavi people in
northwest Gaul (near modern-day Loire River and the Anjou, Brittany,
region of France).
A Celticized head of Apollo appears on the obverse, with a
charioteer, driving a cart drawn by a centaur, on the reverse, in an
imitation of the gold staters of Macedonian king Philip II.
“On the obverse the head of Apollo is adorned by an array of
ritually decapitated heads (a sign of divine power) and, on the
reverse, Philip’s biga has been turned into cart drawn by a centaur,”
according to Nomos.
The coin is struck on a broad planchet and is in Good Very Fine
condition, according to the firm. It has an estimate of 5,000 Swiss
francs (about $5,128 U.S.)
To learn more about the auction, visit the auction firm website.