"For about 150 years Britons minted their own tribal coins until the Romans stopped them in AD 43. During this brief period about 100 rulers of a dozen different tribes issued no fewer than 1,000 different coins. After 2,000 years the imaginative imagery of these ancient British coins remains unsurpassed. This was Britain's golden age of daring coin design."
Ancient British Celtic Coins
|Coin of the Atrebates |
Reproduced with kind permission
'The Battle Crow' - BODVOC
This was the first 'Celtic Coin' plaque that I made - mainly chosen because his name echoes mine, I wanted an example of a 'head,' and I loved the style
Bodvoc issued coins during the second half of the first century BC. Coins of his have been found in the Northern end of the Dobunni territory, which today coincides roughly with the modern counties of Somerset, Bristol and Gloucestershire. From these finds it is currently believed that he ruled their northern territories. The style of head was clearly copied from Tasciovanos, King of the Catuvellauni, and Bodvoc may have been originally of this tribe.
"Bodvoc's name is appropriately combative and means 'battle-crow' - a great name for an invading prince of the Catuvellauni whose tribal name means 'men who excel in battle.' Bodvoc was evidently named after the fearsome war-goddess Badbh of ancient Irish legends. The presence of the letter C at the end of BODVOC on coins indicates that we are unaware of his full name, which may have been Bodvocos, Bodvocnatos 'born of the battle-crow' or Bodvocoveros 'giant of the battle-crow.' We may never know his complete name, but we now know that he was so proud of it that he had it stamped in large Latin letters on his gold quarter staters as well as his gold staters." Elizabeth Cottam of Chris Rudd.
|Courtesy & ©Chris Rudd|
The original coin from which my design is based is an excessively rare Boduoc silver unit with currently only three recorded examples in existence.
"three eyes say this wolf can see in the dark" - WOLF
A fascinating coin design, packed with a wealth of symbology, it is based on the 'Norfolk Wolf' gold stater, struck by the Iceni tribe, who occupied an area corresponding roughly with the modern-day county of Norfolk. They are, of course, best known for their rebellion under Boudicca.
I used an amalgam of several differnet coins in the creation of this design (they had all been struck with details missing) to create as full an image as possible.
The original was approximately 1.5 cm in diameter and made of gold. Mine is about 18 cm in diameter, and made in copper (the Justbod budget didn't quite run to gold!) Every detail in all of my metal plaques, has been individually 'sculpted' by hand, using a combination of techniques.
"Since medieval times the wolf has had predominately negative associations in Europe and in children's stories is often referred to as 'the big bad wolf.' It wasn't so in ancient times. Because the wolf can see in the dark he symbolised the morning sun and was linked to the Lycian Apollo." Chris Rudd - coin list 124
"Three eyes say this wolf can see in the dark. The fen bird (an avocet?) on his rump says he could be an Iceni cousin of Fenrir 'the fen-dweller.' And his jagged jaws remind us of Skoll, the Norse wolf who swallowed the sun, and his brother Hati who slew the moon. See Rainer Kretz - On the track of the Norfolk Wolf." From Britain's First Coins by Chris Rudd
A bold, wild and strange design to our modern sensibilities, I love this image with its evocative intimations of a world-view so different so different to our own.
Wolf - oak wall plaque by bod with handcrafted inlaid design in pure copper based on an Ancient British Celtic gold coin of the Iceni c. 50-40 BC ('Norfolk Wolf' gold stater) ~22cm square x 1.8cm deep.
A Celtic Horse - CORIEL
A Riddle of Faces - TASCIO
Starting around 20 BC Tasciovanus minted gold, silver and copper coins and was the first King to issue inscribed Celtic coins marked with the name of Verulamium (Roman City of St Albans.)
My design is based on a very rare gold stater of his, considered by many to be one of the finest examples of Celtic decorative art. It also displays a whimsical and humorous side, as it features several 'hidden faces.' Chris Rudd, dealer in ancient British coins, says in his literature, that there are no less than six. He also mentions a "stylised badger face with corn-ear stripes is a visual pun on the King's name (Tasciovanus) 'killer of badgers.'"
"A hidden face on an ancient British stater has eluded numismatists for two hundred years. Tasciovanus hid the face on his staters and it took me seven years of owning one of them to see it. Celtic artists liked to hide faces on their artwork. They had a fine appreciation for the surreal. They loved now-you-see-it-now-you-don't images. The art tied in with their religion. Things are not what they seem. Behind everyday scenes luck unseen forces manipulating the action." Robert Van Arsdell
|Courtesy & ©Chris Rudd|
How many faces can you see?
I loved making this design, and its sense of humour, and, as I do with all of the work I create, thinking about the unknown artist who created the die for the original.
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