32 - Hampshire Thunderbolt

Copyright tcx3.co.uk

Unique ID: 32

Technical details


Quarter Stater







Issuing Authority









Scarce (51 to 100)


53 BC to 50 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 left, with an array of pellets to the right. Only three can be seen on this coin.

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

An elongated S shaped line (the thunderbolt) runs vertically, bisecting a straight horizontal line. The upper right quadrant contains a butterfly shaped object. The lower left quadrant contains the edge of an L shaped object. The upper left quadrant contains a torc and pellet, and the lower right contains a diagonal line and traces of a torc.

The pellet in the top left quadrant and the diagonal line in the bottom right quadrant have switched positions in this die.

Note that the intended orientation on the reverse is unknown.

Gemini XIV Lot 6. April 2018

Ex Philip T. Ashton Collection

Ex CR 57 no 51. 2001

Ex Chris Rudd 9

Ex Cotswald Collection

CCI 01.0522

Found near Chichester, W. Sussex, 1978


ABC 767. Hampshire Thunderbolt

Divided Kingdoms

DK 304 – 306. British B2 – Thunderbolt

Van Arsdell

VA 203-01. Atrebatic A – Geometric Type


S 46. Geometric Type

The Hampshire Thunderbolt quarter staters were minted by the Belgae (or more likely an unknown tribe no longer in the historical record) around 53-50 BC. They are a continuation of the boat and geometric theme started by the Morini tribe with their GB-Ca2 and GB-D quarter staters. This coin is obverse die 1, reverse die 5, and is the only coin with this reverse listed in “Divided Kingdoms”.

This is one of twelve in the collection (see 2, 14, 28, 37, 40, 43, 50, 117, 120, 122, and 123).