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Esuprasu the ‘Priest-Chief’


John Conduitt
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This is a silver unit from Esuprasu, king of the Corieltauvi tribe from the English Midlands, some of whose coins I posted previously. Esuprasu ruled after Vepo around the time of the Roman invasion and was one of the last to strike coins in the Midlands.

He appears on coins as IISVP (R)ASV, where E is rendered II. As is usually the case, whether this was the king's name in full or part, or the names of two different rulers, or whether it was a king at all, is speculation based entirely on coin evidence. The crosses and pellets in the obverse wreath link it to the VEP CORF coinage, where VEP might be Vepo (possibly short for Vepocunavos), Cor might be Vepo's father Corionos and F means 'son of' (Cor).

Esuprasu Unit, 40-47
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Corieltauvi tribe. Silver, 14mm, 1.08g. Wreath design, pellet on either side of wreath, crosses in wreath. Horse right with star below tail, (I)ISVP above; (ASV below) (S 406; VA 924.01). Portable Antiquities Scheme: CCI-42661

Edited by John Conduitt
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That's a very nice coin, John Conduitt. It reminds me a lot of a Dobunni stater of mine with the stylised horse right and name above. I only have 3 British Celtic coins, compared to 300 Greek. But they do include 2 of my 3 most expensive coins!

743227445_Eisu1.jpg.d8150ab4b53840289020706ea810eea0.jpgEisu2.jpg.7252c84dfac0207e78c5e318ad51c4d9.jpg

The Dobunni, Eisu.

20-43AD.

Gold Stater.

Spink 381; VA 1105; ABC 2078; BMC 3039-3042.

4g, 18mm.

Ex Chris Hamlyn collection.

 

I bought this coin from Chris Rudd, who said this about it. "Dating Dobunnic coins isn’t easy. All we can usefully say is that Eisu, along with Anted, probably came last in the line and may have ruled sometime between about 20 and 43 AD. When it came to striking gold staters Eisu was no innovator. Both sides of his staters are almost the same as those issued by Corio, Comux, Catti, Inamn and Anted. This is still a rare type – scarcer than the staters of Corio and Anted. Although somewhat off-centre, the emblematic tribal tree on this Eisu Tree gold stater is more carefully engraved than many I’ve seen, with neatly graduated branches – shorter ones above, longer ones below. If you turn this tree upside down, you may fancy you’re looking at the upper part of a human skeleton – well, at least the skull, spine and ribcage. The dark gold colour of this stater is beguiling, as the moneyer intended, but the lowish weight of the stater and its slightly kinky edge are both indicative of a base gold alloy."

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21 hours ago, IanG said:

That's a very nice coin, John Conduitt. It reminds me a lot of a Dobunni stater of mine with the stylised horse right and name above. I only have 3 British Celtic coins, compared to 300 Greek. But they do include 2 of my 3 most expensive coins!

743227445_Eisu1.jpg.d8150ab4b53840289020706ea810eea0.jpgEisu2.jpg.7252c84dfac0207e78c5e318ad51c4d9.jpg

The Dobunni, Eisu.

20-43AD.

Gold Stater.

Spink 381; VA 1105; ABC 2078; BMC 3039-3042.

4g, 18mm.

Ex Chris Hamlyn collection.

 

I bought this coin from Chris Rudd, who said this about it. "Dating Dobunnic coins isn’t easy. All we can usefully say is that Eisu, along with Anted, probably came last in the line and may have ruled sometime between about 20 and 43 AD. When it came to striking gold staters Eisu was no innovator. Both sides of his staters are almost the same as those issued by Corio, Comux, Catti, Inamn and Anted. This is still a rare type – scarcer than the staters of Corio and Anted. Although somewhat off-centre, the emblematic tribal tree on this Eisu Tree gold stater is more carefully engraved than many I’ve seen, with neatly graduated branches – shorter ones above, longer ones below. If you turn this tree upside down, you may fancy you’re looking at the upper part of a human skeleton – well, at least the skull, spine and ribcage. The dark gold colour of this stater is beguiling, as the moneyer intended, but the lowish weight of the stater and its slightly kinky edge are both indicative of a base gold alloy."

That is beautiful. Tribal tree staters go for a lot as they are rather iconic. Chris Rudd is, of course, the best place to buy one.

Eisu is one of the kings who appears only on coins. I have a coin of Anted that I will post at some point.

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