116 - Boat Dog

Copyright tcx3.co.uk

Unique ID: 116

Technical details


Quarter Stater




Belgic Gaul



Issuing Authority

Atrebates (Gaul)








Unique (1)


65 BC to 60 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

The obverse shows a boat with two figures. A star appears to the left. It looks like this might have orignially been a pellet with die breaks, but the dotted line running through it suggests that it is deliberate.

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

The reverse shows a dog bounding to the right. Below the dog is a pellet circle with two parallel crescents anchored at the top. The crescents end in pellets. Above the dog is a lattice of pellets joined by lines. It has a curved shape to it, and it may be a rendition of the segmented crescent from the “Quart de statère en or au croissant” quarter staters. The middle pellet is bigger than the others and has three points at the bottom, reminiscent of the anemone objects seen on British quarters, such as Aa2 Class 2 “Carn Brea” (34 and 39), Ab2 Class 1 “Great Waltham Chevron” (6 and 22), and Ad2 Class 3 “Geometric” (49, 105, 106, and 108).

Bought iBelgica Lansky Auction 3 lot 158. 5th of January 2021

“Nouvel Atlas des Monnaies Gauloises : IV, Supplément aux tomes I-II-III” by Louis-Pol Delestrée and Marcel Tache Plate Coin


DT S 262 A. Series 41A Class IV (This coin)

The reverse of this unique coin is a departure from the “men in a boat” series as it features a dog on the reverse rather than the standard anemone object above a crooked line. The style of the obverse suggests it’s derived from Gb-Ca2 class 5 (45), and the weight suggests it’s broadly contemporary with that. The coin is featured in “Nouvel Atlas des Monnaies Gauloises : IV, Supplément aux tomes I-II-III” by Louis-Pol Delestrée and Marcel Tache as a new class IV in 41A Series “au bateau”. This would suggest it was a Morini issue, but that’s the lazy assumption. The fact that the reverse is so different suggest another tribe minted it.

The most obvious contender is the Atrebates, who were a neighbour of the Morini. There are a number of similarities between this coin and ABC 1148 which is a later coin minted by them in Britain.

ABC 1148. Photo Copyright Oxford University & The Portable Antiquities Scheme (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The obverse of ABC 1148 features a six pointed star with pellet terminals, which is very reminiscant of the star on the obverse of this coin. The reverse of ABC 1148 features a bounding dog with a pellet rosette below, and a beaded border around. An older coin of theirs from Gaul, the “Quart de statère en or au croissant” has an hollow crescent above the animal with three lines segmenting it into four triangular pieces. There are hints of this above the dog on this coin. The overall shape is similar, but it’s composed of pellets joined by straight lines. The GB-D “A-Type Tree” quarter stater (62) is also thought to have been minted by the Atrebates. This is one of the GB-D “au bateau” quarter staters, but with an AT monogram in place of the boat on the obverse.