80 - Great Waltham

Copyright tcx3.co.uk

Unique ID: 80

Technical details


Quarter Stater






North Thames

Issuing Authority









Very Rare (16 to 30)


55 BC to 54 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

The obverse is the same as on the Ingoldisthorpe quarter staters (see 61), and shows a boat with three figures (not the normal two). Between the rightmost figures is a ringed pellet with a vertical line extending from it, although it can barely be seen on this particular coin. The rightmost figure has small curved lines ending in pellets coming from the head and chest area. The leftmost figure has an elongated pellet behind it.

Some scroll work is present below the boat.

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 features a bell shaped “anemone” object with rays emanating from the top and upper left sides. Three short rays come from the base and a scroll from the lower right. The anemone sits above a broken crokked line. On this, to the right, is an uireelgularly shaped object that on other coins looks like a running man. Below is the remains of some scrollwork.

Bt. from finder on Facebook 10th of December 2019

Found 4th of December 2019

Divided Kingdoms

DK 400. British Ab2 Class 3 – Great Waltham

The Great Waltham quarter stands at the end of a complicated sequence that derives from the British Aa2 Class 2 “Carn Brea” quarter (see 34 and 39). The sequence is:

  1. British Ab2 Class 1 which is formed from both ABC 2451 (see 35) and 2454 (see 6 and 22)
  2. British Ac2 Class 2 “Ingoldisthorpe”. Note Ac rather than Ab; (see 61)
  3. British Ab2 Class 3. Note Ab again rather than Ac.

This intermingling of Ab and Ac occurs because of a class 3 coin which was struck from a class 1 (Ab) reverse die and from a class 2 (Ac) obverse die. This merging of dies is also seen in the corresponding staters.

In terms of dating, John Sills assigns it to around 55 BC to 54 BC in “Divided Kingdoms” (p713). His theory is that the whole Ab/Ac series was minted for the second invasion of Britain in 54 BC. His reasoning is that the Ac staters copy features from GB-E class 4L staters (minted around 54 to 53 BC) and GB-D class 5 quarters (minted around 55 to 54 BC) so must be contemporary with, or postdate, that. He also argues that the coins in circulation north of the Thames (British Ab-c, F and G) were replaced by the British L coins, and he dates them to 53 BC and the immediate aftermath of the second invasion.