ABC 491 -
Selsey S-Type. Sills British Qd, class 1, Plain Type, dies 4/12. c.55-45 BC. Gold stater. 18-21mm. 5.59g. Wreath design with two hidden faces./ Triple-tailed horse right, S-shape under head, charioteer’s arms and large pellets above, wheel below. ABC 491, VA−, BMC−, DK 208, S−. CCI 00.1688 (this coin). Large flan of pale yellow gold, clear S. One of the finest known, certainly the heaviest. Ex John Follows collection. Found West Sussex, c. 2000. Excessively rare: only two others known. Not in Van Arsdell, BMC nor Spink. Images: © Chris Rudd Ltd, www.celticcoins.com
Dr John Sills: “the S shape below the mouth is almost certainly decoration rather than a letter” (DK, p.186). However, the word ‘decoration’ implies that the S shape is merely a meaningless space-filler. We prefer to see it as a thunderbolt or lightning flash, something bright and noisy coming from the mouth or snorting nostrils of the mighty sunhorse, like the flames we see emerging from the mouths of various Iceni horses. Published by Dr Philip de Jersey in Coin Hoards in Iron Age Britain, p.392, no.50 (this coin) and by Dr John Sills in Divided Kingdoms, pp.223 and 246 (this coin).