92 - Great Waltham Curved Neck

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Unique ID: 92

Technical details








North East Thames

Issuing Authority









Scarce (51 to 100)


55 BC to 54 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

No Legend

Reverse Legend

No Legend

Obverse Description

The obverse shows a very abstracted rendering of Apollo’s head ultimately derived from the Philippus. It mainly comprises of a wreath and hairlocks, bisected by a hair bar. The hollow crescents on the right are hair curls, and the “blob” shaped object in front is all that remains of Apollo’s face.

Reverse Description

The reverse shows the remnants of the horse drawn biga and Charioteer from the Philippus. The horse faces left, and has a curved neck, making it distinct from the earlier class 1 staters where the horse had a straight neck. The horse has a distinctive “stacked saucers” appearance. There is a pellet field above the horse, and the area below the horse is mainly blank, probably because the coin was picked up with tongs while it was still hot. The chariot wheel from the biga is just visible on the right side.

Bt. Chris Rudd Liz’s List 107, number 32 (2020)

Chris Rudd Auction 167 Lot 24, October 2019


ABC 2430. Westerham North

Divided Kingdoms

DK 393. British Ab1 Class 3 – Great Waltham Curved Neck

Van Arsdell

VA 1453-01 (cf.). Trinovantian X – Westerham (Northern) Type


S 21 (cf.). Westerham Type

The Great Waltham Curved Neck stater stands at the end of a complicated sequence that derives from the British Aa1 staters (see 96). The sequence is:

  1. British Ab1 Class 1
  2. British Ac1 Class 2 (a and b) “Ingoldisthorpe”. Note Ac rather than Ab
  3. British Ab1 Class 3. Note Ab again rather than Ac.

This intermingling of Ab and Ac occurs because some class 3 coins were struck with class 2 (Ac1) obverse dies, and some with class 2 (Ac1) reverse dies. This merging of dies is also seen in the corresponding quarters.

In terms of dating, “ABC” assigns it to the 80-50 BC range, and John Sills assigns it to around 55 BC to 54 BC in “Divided Kingdoms” (p713). Chris Rudd Ltd. assigns it to both the 75-65 BC range (Auction 167 Lot 24, October 2019) and c. 54 BC (Auction 165 Lot 27, June 2019).

John Sills’ 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.