Catuvellauni Lister’s Celtic Head Silver Unit 50-40BC Extremely rare


Code: FC79

Catuvellauni Lister’s Celtic Head Silver Unit 50-40BC, Extremely rare

12x13mm, 1.02g, S-, ABC2478, VA1540, BMC593

This is one of the most imposing male heads to be seen on any late iron age coin. The coin was possibly issued by Cassivellaunos, commander of the British coalition against Caesar in 54 BC, and the portrait could be of Cassivellaunos himself, though this is by no means certain; it could equally represent a Catuvellaunian war-god. Named the ‘Lister’s Celtic Head’ in honour of Major Clement Wynter Lister (1920-2010), who was a colleague of Commander Richard Paston Mack MVO (1901-1974), Henry Richard Mossop DFC (1919-1988) and Derek Fortrose Allen CB, FBA, FSA (1910-1975), and who served on the council of the British Numismatic Society for twelve years, 1963-66, 1969-76. In 1959 Major Lister published the first known coin of this type, saying: ‘Julius Caesar, in his Gallic Wars, Book I, chap. xiv, records that the inhabitants of Britain “wear their hair long and have every part of their body shaved except the head and upper lip”. Dr Philip de Jersey says: ‘The winged ornament above the horse links this type to the Whaddon Chase staters (ABC 2433, 2436-42), and it seems likely that the silver unit was produced by the same authority and circulated at much the same time as the more common stater.’

1 in stock

You may also be interested in these…