The coins were struck in considerable quantity at the time that Julius Caesar’s legions were taking over Gaul c.60-50 BC. To the untrained eye they all look much the same; however, specialists know different. The remote ancestor of these coins is the gold stater issued by Philip II of Macedon (d.336 BC). So popular were his coins for international trade that they came to be widely imitated over most of Europe. But the Celts went one better; they imbued their coins with some of their wild artistic spirit. Thus they are not just crude imitations but rank as works of art, albeit miniature, in their own right. Illustrated to give an idea is one of the most aesthetically pleasing. A detailed report of this rare sale will appear in a later edition of the Antiques Trade Gazette.
Lighting up a Gauloise
FRANCE: THE largest hoard ever of gold Celtic coins – the French call them Gauloise – is being offered at auction in Paris on March 27. The expert is Alain Weil (54 rue de Richelieu). There are 145 of them and they were issued by the Gaulish tribes of the Cenomanes, who bequeathed their name to present-day le Mans, and the Venetes who dominated the area round Vannes on the south coast of Brittany.