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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Earliest Coinage of Vercingetorix?

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 131. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $2600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CELTIC, Central Gaul. Arverni. Vercingetorix(?). Circa 65-51 BC. AV Stater (7.29 g, 5h). Male head left / Horse prancing left; spiral ornament above, [amphora below]. D&T 3571/2; Depeyrot, NC III, 180; De la Tour 3745. VF, area of flat strike, reverse off center. Very rare, Depeyrot records only nine examples.

These obverse and reverse types were used on a variety of Arvernian issues datable just prior to, and contemporary with, the Gallic Wars. The style of this anepigraphic issue is identical to the epigraphic coins marked CAS, which early numismatists linked to Vercassivellaunos, the cousin of Vercingetorix, but more recent studies have discounted this attribution (see B. Fischer, “Le numéraire à la légende CAS et les monnaies de Vercingetorix” in: Hommage à Lucien Lerat (Paris, 1984), pp. 277-87). While the style of the head is different than the Vercingetorix-inscribed issue, the present issue either preceded the inscribed issue of the famous chieftain, or was contemporary with it (see also S. Nieto, “La place du monnayage arverne dans les monnayages gaulois du centre et du sud de la Gaule au IIe et Ier siècles av. J.-C.: étude numismatique et analytique” in: Proceedings of the 13th International Numismatic Congress (Madrid, 2005), pp. 459-470, Phase IV).