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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
85000138

Classic Parisii Stater

CNG 85, Lot: 138. Estimate $25000.
Sold for $28000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CELTIC, Northeast Gaul. Parisii. 2nd century BC. AV Stater (22mm, 7.36 g, 3h). Class IV (”au nez retroussé”). Celticized head of Apollo right; ornament before / Celticized horse galloping left; the charioteer devolved into a fan shape with checkerboard design, rosette below. D&T 81; Depeyrot, NC 187. Near EF. Very rare.


Much of the Celtic gold coinage consisted of stylized derivatives of the ubiquitous gold staters of Philip II type. Originally copied faithfully by Celtic tribes along the Danube, these types of Apollo and chariot slowly spread westward among the coinage of the central and western European tribes, who continually modified their appearance and often added subsidiary symbols that apparently held local significance. The Parisii made their staters into works of art, their coins being among the finest of all Gallic issues. The extraordinarily rich artistic treatment of the horse is characterized by a curvilinear triangular formation above it, the so-called ‘wing’, containing square compartments, each enclosing a pellet, perhaps representing the canopy of heaven. According to Caesar's De Bello Gallico (VI 3), the capital of the Parisii was the village of Lutetia on a marshy island in the Seine. The Parisii sided with Vercingetorix against the Romans, and the Celtic chieftain sent a force under his lieutenant, Camulogenus, to secure the area. Camulogenus and his men were soon defeated near Melun, and the region came under Roman control. Lutetia was thoroughly Romanized, and although it flourished, the town was of minor importance compared to Agedincum, the capital of its province, Lugdunensis Senona. The town was renamed Paris, after the Celtic tribe, in the third or fourth century, but remained relatively small until the Merovingian Clovis made the city his capital in the early sixth century.