15 - Duro Boat Bird

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Unique ID: 15

Technical details


Quarter Stater






South Western

Issuing Authority









Common (101 to 200)


50 BC to 20 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

The 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 Description

A 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.

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.

Ebay Item number 292253778186 (2017)


ABC 2208. Duro Boat Bird

Van Arsdell

VA 1242-01. Durotrigan E – Late Geometric Type


S 368. Geometric Type

The Duro Boat Bird quarter staters were minted by the Durotriges around 50-20 BC, and are a continuation of the Duro Boat Gold quarter stater series. The Durotriges started minting these coins in gold but transitioned to silver as their gold stocks ran out.

This is one of eight in the collection (see 1, 9, 13, 99, 100, 110, and 118).

This coin highlights an issue with photographing small coins. Magnified, this coin looks to be in a bad state, but in hand it’s actually a pleasant looking coin. It will never get confused with a high grade coin, but at only 1cm wide, your eye just can’t resolve the level of detail needed to show the defects.