ABC 1052 -
Tincomarus Alton. Sills class 1, dies 1/2. c.25BC-AD10. Gold stater. 16-18mm. 5.51. Wreath motif with hidden faces, snake’s head below./ Disjointed triple-tailed horse right, charioteer’s arm and TINCO above, MA below, RVS in front, trefoil under head, ‘coffee bean’ behind. ABC 1052, VA−, BMC 765, DK 327, S−. CCI 20.0249 (this coin). One of the finest known examples with an incredibly readable inscription thanks to the slightly ovoid flan. Ex John Follows collection, ex Chris Fox collection. Found Lavant, Hampshire, 2014. Very rare - only 12 others recorded, including two in the British Museum. Images: © Chris Rudd Ltd, www.celticcoins.com
This is the coin type that famously renamed an ancient British king. But he wasn’t always seen as a king. In 1843 Charles Roach Smith thought TIN was a mint-site, a view shared ten years later by the Rev. Beale Poste. For over a century numismatists thought the king’s name was Tincommius. Then in March 1996 Peter Murphy, 47, a retired Royal Marine, and Peter Beasley, 55, a bricklayer, unearthed two remarkable hoards at East Meon, Hants., comprising a total of 256 gold staters. One of them bore an inscription which John Orna-Ornstein of the British Museum read as TINCOMARVS. Clive Cheeseman, also of the British Museum, interpreted this new correct reading as ‘The Big Fish’. Others have subsequently interpreted it as ‘Great in Peace’ which, on balance, we find more plausible. The all-important TINCOMARVS inscription on John Follows’ stater is sensationally complete and considerably clearer. Moreover, the obverse of John Follows’ exceptional example clearly reveals the open-jawed serpent (if that’s what it is) plus the crescent eyebrows of two hidden faces – one on each side of the flan. Published in Coin News, April 2020 (this coin). Not in Van Arsdell nor Spink.