85 - Lyndsey Scyphate Reversed Type

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Unique ID: 85

Technical details


Quarter Stater






North Eastern

Issuing Authority









Extremely Rare (6 to 15)


70 BC to 55 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

The obverse shows the remains of a boat with two figures.

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 is dominated by a wavy horizontal line with a field of seven pellets above and perhaps six below, although the exact number isn’t exactly clear. There are two stacked crescents below.

Bt. CNG E Auction 460, Lot 1020. January 2020


ABC 1767. Lyndsey Scyphate Reversed Type

This is an early Lyndsey Scyphate quarter stater which appears to follow on from the Lincolnshire Boat Tree quarters (see 25 and 33). The design on the obverse is normally described as a stylised boar, but I have a great deal of trouble accepting that for several reasons:

  1. The boar was revered as a creature of the night and only appears as the main motif on silver coins. It rarely appears on gold, and when it does, it is always a small auxiliary design
  2. The Celts knew how to draw boars that looked like boars. It was the little things, like having the correct number of legs and putting them in the correct places. This doesn’t really look like a boar.
  3. The coin is derived (one step removed) from Gallo-Belgic Ca2 Class 4 which was minted by the Morini and featured the standard “two men in a boat” motif. There are good arguments why a seafaring tribe (who are likely to have considered boats to be important) might have used a boat on their coins, but I’ve yet to hear any arguments put forth why they would have been the only tribe to use a badly drawn boar as the main image on gold

The design does become more boar like on later Lyndsey Scyphates, but I’m yet to be convinced it’s anything more than a boat with a figurehead. The Corieltavi used the boar extensively on their silver coins, and none of them look like this. They are all obviously boars even though they are highly abstract.