64 - S-Wave Trophy

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Unique ID: 64

Technical details


Quarter Stater




Belgic Gaul



Issuing Authority









Unique (1)


53 BC to 52 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

The obverse is blank apart from an “S Wave” shape made by the vertical concatanation of an S and a reversed S. This sits on a faint cross which spans the flan.

Reverse Description

The reverse centres around a tree like object (also called a trophy) with a short trunk that flows smoothly to the tips of the branches and the start of the roots. There are eight branches (four on each side) instead of the usual six, and two roots (one on each side). The roots come from an annulet at the base of the trunk, and each end in a ringed pellet. The annulet contains a pellet. To the right of the right hand root is a ringed pellet. It’s not known if there is one off-flan on the left side. Below the roots is a zig-zag line and a curved object that is mainly off-flan.

To the left and right of the trunk are two wavy lines with annulets at the end near the tree. These are similar to the “snakes” on the British Le2 “Double Snake” quarter stater (see 57). Above the wavy line on the left is the end of an unknown object. Above the wavy line on the right is a beaded line in the shape of a question mark.

Directly above the tree is an object consisting of a ringed pellet connected to a pellet by a crescent.

Bt. Künker Numismatik AG (2019)

Ex. Eugen Wankmüller collection

CCI 19.2679

The S-Wave Trophy quarter stater is unique and unpublished, and may be part of the Gallo-Belgic D or British Le2 types. It was part of Eugen Wankmüller’s collection and he described it as similar to the Kentish “British Middle Trophy Type” (VA 146-01). There are similarities on the reverse, but it’s not known if VA 146-01 is Gaulish or British (Van Arsdell thinks British, John Sills thinks Gaulish), so that doesn’t help place it.

The obverse is smooth and blank save for a symbol that seems to be an S vertically merged with a reversed S to make a wave like pattern. There’s a hint of a triangular continuation on the left side, but that appears to be an illusion caused by wear and an inconveniently placed scratch. The “S-Wave” sits on a faint cross that spans the obverse. Assuming it’s a double S motif then it could be related to the GB-E Class 5 “SS” staters from 53/52 BC which feature two S shapes on the reverse, one or two of which can be reversed (like this one for example). Alternatively, it could be one of the “Legend” type GB-D quarters, along with the A (see 62), AR and RR (see 81) types. If British, it could be related to the British Le S-Type quarters (see 55) and SS type staters which may have been minted by the Segontiaci. It lacks the banding seen on the obverses of these coins, but that is so faint to be non-existant on the Floret Trophy type (see 60), so that’s not conclusive.

It weighs 1.25g which is a bit low to be one of the GB-D Legend types (these are in the 1.3-1.32g range), but earlier GB-D coins related to the SS type staters (such as the GB-D “Flower” type (1.25-1.27g) and GB-D “Three Annulets” (1.24-1.34g)) are in a similar range. It’s also too low to be part of the British Le2 “Floret” (see 60), “S Type” (see 55) and “Beaded Trophy” quarters (see 56), although it could be contemporary with the “Double Snake” quarters (see 57) which are in the 1.20-1.29g range. The weight allows it to be a GB-D or a British Le2 so no conclusions can be drawn from this.

The lack of banding on the obvserse suggests it is a Belgic rather than British coin, and related to the GB-E Class 5 “SS” staters. One of the associated quarters, CCI 95.3766, appears to have a similar faint cross on the obverse, and other related coins have strong similarities with the reverse. Until more information comes to light, I’m going to assume this is a Morini GB-D quarter stater from 53-52 BC which was a companion to the GB-E class 5 “SS” staters.

GB-D types in the collection:

  • Branch Type (38 and 63)
  • Two Symbols (26 and 31)
  • Two Arcs Uniface (79)
  • Ornate Lines (54)
  • Two Rosettes (70 and 93)
  • Linked Rings (86)
  • Ringed Pellet Globular (47)
  • S-Wave Trophy (64)
  • Legend A (62)
  • Legend RR (81)