52 - GB-Ca2 Class 1

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Unique ID: 52

Technical details


Quarter Stater




Belgic Gaul



Issuing Authority









Excessively Rare (2 to 5)


120 BC to 102 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

This is the very first coin to show a boat with two figures on the obverse. It’s actually the remains of a die showing Apollo’s head with a wreath and a hairbar.

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 doesn’t have any identifiable shapes apart from a pellet at the base. It’s struck from a broken die that has a right facing horse on it. The irregular shaped object on the left side seems to be the one that evolves into the anemone (or tree) on later GB-Ca2 coins.

Bt. CGB.FR 2018. Item ref bga_507551

Divided Kingdoms

Sills 2003

Sills 426. GB-Ca2 Class 1


Scheers Series 13. Les quarts “au bateau”

Gallo Belgic Ca2, or GB-Ca2 for short, is the quarter stater that accompanied the ubiquitous GB-Ca staters. These were minted in stages between 125 BC and 58 BC. This coin is class 1 (of 6) so was minted around 125 BC, possibly to help finance the Cimbric wars.

This coin is the first one to have the “two men and a boat” motif on it. This is derived from a die break that occurs on the GB-Aa2 class 6 quarters where the break causes the hairbar to extend to the chin. This forms the “boat” and elements of the wreath form the “men” in the boat. The GB-Ca2 class 1 quarters can still be viewed as a head though as Apollo’s face is still visible (if you know what you are looking for).

The reverse is difficult to interpret, but it’s just a badly broken GB-Aa2 class 6 die showing a right facing horse with a pellet below. It eventually transforms into the broken line and anemone/tree motif seen on later GB-Ca2, GB-D and other geometric quarter staters.

Note that the rarity figure is based on the catalogue in “Gaulish and Early British Gold Coinage” by Dr. John Sills. I doubt it is still excessively rare, but I don’t have any better figures. I haven’t seen that many for sale, so maybe it’s correct.

This is one of three GB-Ca2 quarters (of any class) in my collection (see 45 and 48)