100 - Duro Boat Bird

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Unique ID: 100

Technical details
DenominationQuarter StaterMetalSilver
AreaBritainRegionSouth Western
Issuing AuthorityDurotrigesIssuerUnknown
RarityCommon (101 to 200)Date50 BC to 20 BC (see note about dating)
Obverse LegendNo Legend
Reverse LegendNo Legend
Obverse DescriptionThe obverse shows a boat with two figures. An S shaped object appears on the right, and the remains of a pellet ring on the left.

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 DescriptionA zig-zag line (sometimes called a thunderbolt) runs vertically with Y shaped objects in the lower left and upper right fields. A bird shaped object appears in the lower right field. The upper left field contains an unidentified L shaped object. This coin is struck off-centre, with more of the left side showing than normal, and less of the right. What’s particularly interesting is that the design in the left half of the coin extends all the way to the edge of the flan, which means that the die was substantially bigger than the flans were.

Note that the intended orientation on the reverse is unknown. It is traditionally shown with the zig-zag line as vertical, but as this is derived from the GB-Ca2 quarter staters, it should probably be shown with that line horizontal.

Bought on Facebook, August 2020

Found near West Dorset


ABCABC 2208. Duro Boat Bird
Van ArsdellVA 1242-01. Durotrigan E – Late Geometric Type
SpinkS 368. Geometric Type

The Duro Boat Gold and the Duro Boat Bird quarter staters were minted by the Durotriges around 80-50 BC and 50-20 BC respectively. They are a continuation of the boat and geometric theme started by the Morini tribe with their GB-Ca2 and GB-D quarter staters. The Durotriges started minting these coins in gold but transitioned to silver as their gold stocks ran out. The transition between the gold and silver coinages is subtle and it’s not always clear whether a particular coin should be categorised as Duro Boat Gold (gold) or Duro Boat Bird (silver). This one has a significant golden hue it could be assigned to either, but there’s definitley silver in the mix, so I’ll assign it to the silver coins.

This is one of eight in the collection (see 1, 9, 13, 15, 99, 110, and 118).