2000-year-old Victoria Cross found

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by Elizabeth Cottam

Its provenance – near Fordham, Cambridgeshire, within the territory of the Catuvellauni – suggests that it might be a north Thames issue, possibly struck by Tasciovanos or one of his associates or by his son Cunobelin. However its imagery points me to look south of the Thames to Kent.

Artist’s impression of unrecorded bronze coin from Fordham, Cambs.

The obverse shows what appears to be a long-robed Victory holding a victory wreath in his or her left hand. Somewhat similar Victory figures can be seen on two Cantian coins of Eppillus, c.AD1-15 (ABC 387 and 414).

Silver coin of Sam for comparison.

On the other hand, the reverse has a cross motif very like the cross motif on another Cantian coin – a silver unit of Sam (ABC 372) who ruled in Kent at around the same time as Eppillus.

There is probably an abbreviation of the king’s name somewhere on the obverse, but I can’t see it. So we’ll have to wait for a sharper example to be unearthed. Meanwhile I’m reluctant to offend the ghost of either Eppillus or Sam. Therefore I’ve provisionally called this bronze Victoria Cross. It will be offered for sale in the May edition of the Chris Rudd catalogue.

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You can find more articles by Chris Rudd and Elizabeth Cottam and many more news about interesting celtic coins in our relative archive section.

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