Not in DLT

 Number BN6515-6516


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Tribe: Stylistically North Central Gaul: Possibly Carnutes
Metal: Cast AE
Type: 14 x 17 mm
Weight: 2.99 gm
Date: 50 - 40 BCE
Obverse: Diademed or helmeted Celtic head right with 2 long locks of hair falling over back of neck, possible torc or necklace around neck, VOVIC, VONC or VONO (backwards N) inverted below or possibly ONOA or ONOL upright, beaded border
Reverse: Bull or horse/bull standing right, cross above with pellet in each angle, ring below, pentagram in front with ligate letter A, beaded border
References: DLT-, BMC-, RIG-, BN 6515-6516
Comment:

The inscription is probably VOVIC, is possibly unpublished and is not in RIG (C de Beaulieu & B Fischer: Recieul des Inscriptions Gauloises)

The animal on the reverse has been called a horse (Ernest Muret, 1889), a bull (Chris Rudd, 2002) and a dog (just about everyone I actually show the actual coin to) or a wolf (Marc Breitsprecher).

So we have an equine, bovine or canine - an apt Celtic triad!

I think it is a combination of these animals, a very Celtic thing to do: the overall configuration of the animal and the tail are equine, but the "long ears" are much more horn-like with balls on the ends, congruent with the beaded border. The 'mane' can be construed as hackles. The incisions in the rather thick neck resemble dewlaps which are bovine characteristics. The large, staring eye is most Celtic in style.

The pentagram is common on Celtic coins, as on Greek coins, and may well be a Druidic symbol. The 'ligature' of the A with a pentagram is unknown in my experience. It looks like it was done on purpose and not just a bungled pentagram.

Finally the cross with the quartered dots fascinates me. Is this an ancient representation of the 'modern' quarters of the 4 seasons used by Wiccan and Druid groups?


Please contact me if you notice any mistakes, have any criticisms or have a picture or scan of this coin

Bill Blank