59 - Cheriton Smiler

Copyright tcx3.co.uk

Unique ID: 59

Technical details









Issuing Authority









Scarce (51 to 100)


49 BC to 40 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

The obverse shows an artistic rendering of the abstracted Apollo’s head. The hairbar that cuts accross the wreath becomes a three banded line, with the central line extending to the face area and ending in a large crescent shaped “axe head”. Beyond this are small lines ending in pellets. The leftmost line in the hairbar ends in the classic hairbar crescent, and the rightmost line takes a sharp bend to the right and frames the wreath.

Between the ends of the left and right hairbar lines and the axe head are two hollow crescents, which are standard on the abstract renditions of Apollo’s head. Below them are rings with three lines extending from each, resembling eyes with eyelashes. Surrounding the face are various rings.

This is obverse die 5

Reverse Description

The reverse shows the remnants of the horse drawn biga and Charioteer from the Philippus. The horse faces left, and has a crab like object below, and a pellet field above. The top of the “crab” can just be seen at the bottom left of the flan. The horse’s neck and head are excessively elongated on these coins. The neck merges with the body, and starts just above the crab at the bottom of the flan, and is still going when the top left of the flan is hit. The head can just be seen on the left side. The chariot wheel from the biga is just visible on the right side. Only the left side of it is present.

This is reverse die 7

Bt. Spink Auction 19004 Lot 891 2019

Ex. Spink ‘Celtic Coins from the Geoff Cottam Collection’ (Auction 15049 Lot 85) 2015

Ex. Geoff Cottam Collection

Bought from Cherry, 22 May 1996


ABC 755. Cheriton Smiler

Divided Kingdoms

DK 314 – 315. British Db1 Class 2b – Cheriton Axehead

Van Arsdell

VA 1215-01. Durotrigan D – Cheriton Type


S 24. Cheriton Type

The Cheriton Smiler stater is famous for the big smiley face on its obverse. This is derived from the head of Apollo like most other early British staters, but this has come full circle as it looks like a face again. The reverse features the same style of horse as seen on the other Belgae staters, but the proportions have become comedic, with the neck and the head elongating to giraffe like proportions. This coin is obverse die 5, reverse die 7.

This was the last stater minted by the Belgae (or more likely an unknown tribe no longer in the historical record) before they dissapeared.