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King Sam Pentagram

King Sam Pentagram

“This excessively rare tribal coin (only one other recorded) forms a crucial link in the chain that ties King Sam to his uninscribed gold stater.  Though it doesn’t bear Sam’s name this exquisitely designed silver unit is so like one that does (ABC 372) that it must have been struck by Sam.

Sam Pentagram. c.AD 1-15? Silver unit  obv

Sam Pentagram. c.AD 1-15? Silver unit

Sam Pentagram. c.AD 1-15? Silver unit. 13mm. 0.89g. Beaded cross motif, four-petal flower in centre, pellets and rings in angles./ Horse left, looking back, belted on neck and belly, S-shaped tail raised, rings around, pentagram under tail, pellet triad behind, beaded border. ABC−, VA−, BMC−, S−. CCI 13.0126 (this coin). Good VF, bright silver, light porosity, bold horse, beautifully ornamented. Ex The Fountaine Collection of Celtic Coins. EXCESSIVELY RARE only one other recorded by CCI (badly chipped). 

The cruciform motif was unquestionably cribbed from North Thames coins and the leaves (yonis?) of the central quatrefoil are reminiscent of those on coins of Tasciovanos, cf. ABC 2583-89, 2619. The rest of the imagery – especially the reverse – is unreservedly Cantian. The Fountaine Collection was formed by a lawyer who could afford to buy beautiful Celtic rarities. See p.1 of the paper catalogue.

Images copyright Chris Rudd, Thank you Chris Rudd for images and auction text