101 - Yarmouth

Copyright tcx3.co.uk

Unique ID: 101

Technical details









Issuing Authority









Extremely Rare (6 to 15)


57 BC to 55 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

Typical Celtic degraded head of Apollo, but with a missing face. Instead, the hairbar ends with a three pronged object in the nose area, below which a crescent has three claw like crescents hanging from it. Above the three pronged “nose”, to the right, is a bell shaped object. Only the very edge of this can be seen on this coin.

Reverse Description

Right facing horse with a tail ending with three crescents, each one ending in a pellet. The forelegs are formed by a six bladed windmill motif with a pellet centre. Two arms are parallel, forming the horse’s forelegs. The lower arm of the windmill (the horse’s foot) ends in a three toed claw, although a die break makes it appear as an inverted birds head on this coin. The segment between the upper right arms has a pellet triad, and the one below has an undeterministic object.

There are nine bold pellets in a rosette arrangement above and three below the horse. Above the horse’s tail is an object that’s possibly a lyre. The exergue is formed of two parallel lines, joined by alternating diagonal lines. Between the diagonal lines are single pellets.

Bt. CNG Feature Auction 115 lot 993. 16-09-2020

ABC 518 Plate Coin

Ex Chris Rudd FPL 124 (July 2012), no. 12

Ex C. Hamblyn

Ex DNW October 2009 lot 5118

Ex C. Morrison

Ex Chris Rudd FPL 75 (May 2004), no. 28

SCBC 23. L. Lengyel, Le secret des Celtes (Robert Morel, 1969), p. 148

Ex André Breton



ABC 518. Yarmouth (This coin)

Divided Kingdoms

DK 177. British C Class 1 – Yarmouth Right

Van Arsdell

VA 1220-01. Durotrigan B – Yarmouth Type


S 23. Yarmouth Type

The Yarmouth stater is described by John Sills in “Divided Kingdoms” (p178) as “one of the most enigmatic British stater types”. The iconography is bizarre. Apollo’s face is replaced by a three pronged “nose”, and the cloak by three claws. On the reverse, the over articulated horse has a three clawed tail and Whirling Blades of Death™ for forelegs. One of the legs ends with three claws. This coin lends weight to the theory that some Celtic coin designs were derived from trance imagery.

It’s not entirely clear who minted this coin. Sills draws parallels to the British Ad2 Geometric quarter staters (see 49, 105, 106, and 108) and to the Gb-Ce staters which are tentatively assigned to the Catuslougi. There is no known associated quarter stater, although the Horse Geometric quarter stater (see 75) is the most likely candidate. This also has similarities to the British Ad series, both with the staters (see 104) and Geometric quarters (see 49, 105, 106, and 108). It’s probable that it was minted by a small group of refugees who came to Britain during the Gallic Wars, which might explain the small numbers found and the extremely low gold content.

The style of the horse and the similarities to the Gb-Ce staters suggest an early mint date, but the gold content is very low (an average of only 28.88%) putting them on par with British G which are dated to 57 BC to 55 BC. This date is used here for the Yarmouth staters, but the wider range of 80BC to 50 BC is possibly safer. The gold content is so low that they were almost certainly minted towards the end of this period.

At the time of writing (2020) there are only fifteen Class 1 coins (the Right Type) recorded. Nine of them were found in the Yarmouth Hoard and are in the British Musem (8) and the Ashmolean Museum (1). One of the remaining six coins is plated.