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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1001. Estimate $15000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $14000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CELTIC, Gaul. The Parisii. Circa 70-60 BC. AV Stater (6.85 gm). Class V. Stylized head of Apollo right; double volute before, club under chin, zig-zag line with pellets below / Bridled horse galloping left; ornate wing above, rosette below. Mainjonet, "Le Trésor de Puteaux (Seine)," in Revue Numismatique 1962, pl. ii, 3 (same dies); De Beaulieu, pg. 26, fig. 17, 39; De la Tour 7777. Good VF, well struck on a broad flan. Very rare. ($15,000)

Ex J. Vinchon (9 December 1997), lot 162.

The typology of the developed Celtic gold coinage, though limited in scope, abounds in symbolism of a solar nature, from the principal derivative types, Apollo-Helios and horse, to common decorative details of sun, moon and stars. The Parisii made their staters into works of art, their coins being amongst the finest of all Gallic coinages. The extraordinarily rich artistic treatment of the reverse horse is characterised by a curvilinear triangular formation above it, the so-called ‘wing’, containing square compartments, each enclosing a pellet, perhaps representing the canopy of heaven. Class V staters were struck in connection with Caesar’s invasion of Gaul in 59 BC, and the celebrated hoard of 53 staters found at Puteaux in 1950, situated in the banlieu of Paris, confirms their attribution to the Parisii.

According to Caesar's De Bello Gallico (VI 3), the capital of the Parisii was the village of Lutetia on the marshy island in the Seine. Having been destroyed by Caesar’s legate Labienus in 52 BC, the city was rebuilt in imperial times with the name of Parisii. It was the favourite residence of Julian, but its real greatness did not begin until Clovis made it his capital.