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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 1. Estimate CHF5000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF4600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CELTIC, Central Europe. Vindelici. Early 1st century BC. Stater (Gold, 7.49 g 9). Head of eagle to left within wreath with a jeweled closing above Rev. Three pellets within torque with pellet at each end; all within cup-shaped incuse. De la Tour 9430. Kellner type IIA. KMW 444. Very rare. Nicely struck and centered. Attractively toned. Surfaces slightly rough, otherwise, extremely fine.

This curious looking coin comes from southern Germany and was surely issued by the Vindelici, a powerful tribe living in that area. They entered German folklore as Regenbogenschüsselchen, which means ‘little rainbow cups’ and refers to the belief that where a rainbow touched the earth, it left a treasure of gold. The strongly convex/concave form of these coins with their odd designs of stars, crosses, birds’ heads, wreaths, coiled serpents or dragons, torques and pellets confirmed their other-worldly strangeness in the eyes of their simple finders. Now we can see how these odd designs have descended from the types on the gold staters of Philip II, so prized by the Celtic mercenaries to whom they were paid hundreds of years before the Vindelici produced their gold pieces.