10 - Badbury Rat

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Unique ID: 10

Technical details


Quarter Stater






South Western

Issuing Authority









Very Common (200+)


50 BC to 40 AD (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

Traces of the standard “boat with two figures” design which was used on the earlier coins in the series (for examples, see 7, 9, and 46).

The obverse is sometimes rotated 180 degrees and described as a stylised animal (normally a boar but sometimes a wolf), but the arguments for this are unconvincing and the text required to describe the design as a boar or other abstract animal becomes increasingly convoluted.

A possible interpretation of the boat and its passengers was presented by Daphne Nash Briggs in "Reading the images on lron-Age coins: I. the sun-boat and its passengers".

Reverse Description

A zig-zag line (sometimes called a thunderbolt) runs vertically with lines running parallel to the vertical sections. The top left is a straight line and the top right is a pelleted line. These reverse sides on the lower half of the thunderbolt.

The upper left quadrant contains a square block, and the upper right a “clamshell” motif. Below this is a a pair of nested rings, and below that, in the lower right quadrant, is the “rat”. The lower left quadrant contains another pair of nested rings

Ebay item number 292195187886 (2017)


ABC 2214. Badbury Rat

Van Arsdell

VA 1260-01. Durotrigan H – Third Geometric Type


S 368. Geometric Type

The Badbury Rat quarter staters were minted by the Durotriges sometime between 50 BC and 40AD. They are a continuation of the boat and geometric theme started by the Morini tribe with their GB-Ca2 and GB-D quarter staters. By the time the Durotriges minted these they had run out of precious metals, so these are made from a low quality billon alloy containing no gold and almost no silver. They would normally be classed as silver units because of their size, weight, and thickness, but they are quarter staters because the entire Durotriges monetary system became highly debased (they eventually struck, and then cast, staters in bronze), and inflation would have caused the lower denominations such as silver units to be abandoned, leaving just staters and quarter staters, and ultimately just staters.

The transition from the “Duro Boat Dots” type (see 46 and 87) to the Badbury Rat type is indistinct, and it is likely that they are different ends of the same type which had decreasing precious metal and weight. The description given in “Ancient British Coins” by Elizabeth Cottam, Philip de Jersey, Chris Rudd, and John Sills isn’t detailed enough to definitively categorise all coins of these types. This one however is definitely a Badbury Rat due to the worn obverse die and its thinness.

This is one of two in the collection (see 23).