Celtic, Eastern Europe, Tetradrachm ca. 2nd - 1st century BC, roof-rider type


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A magnificent Celtic Tetradrachm of the Dachreiter (“roof-rider”) type, minted by a Celtic tribe in Eastern Europe, 13,85 g; 20,6 mm.
The obverse with a delightfully stylised head of Zeus, his beard and hair a mass of thick, wavy strands, his eye peering from underneath a long, straight brow, and with a laurel wreath encircling his head.
The reverse with a prancing horse, depicted with an exaggerated body, leaf-shaped hooves, and beaded mane. Its rider has been reduced to the simplest forms, a curling strand evoking the long crescent trail of his helmet. Areas of iridescence can be seen on both sides, notably along the beading.
Extremely fine

Provenance Details

From the Lanz collection. Subsequently German art market, October 2015.


The beautifully stylised forms of this coin were inspired by Antiquity’s most famous coinage, the tetradrachms of Philip II of Macedon. Reimagining their classical design with characteristic playfulness, the ancient diemaker created a miniature work of art appealing to the Eastern Celts’ exuberant artistic sense and love for abstraction.

"They had a singular gift for the abstract, and an exceptional mastery over the techniques of metalcraft enabled them to indulge it to the full." Derek Fortrose Allen, An Introduction to Celtic Coins (British Museum Publications, 1978)

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