Chris Rudd sold unique Atrebates gold stater

In the Chris Rudd Ltd. auction that ended at 6pm on 15 November 2020 lot 14, a unique Caratacus ‘Warrior’ gold stater, sold to a UK private collector for £71,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £30.000. Wow! As I mentioned in my Pre-Sale Review (below), I thought it would leave £30,000 well behind; I wouldn’t have forecast £71,000 as the final bid. And, the buyer would have to pay an extra premium of £14,200 and £2,840 for VAT on top of that. Therefore the buyer paid a total of £88,040.


Chris Rudd, the Celtic doyen, has done more to popularise Celtic and Ancient British currency that any other dealer. He has been in business for decades and has witnessed an amazing increase both in the number of coins available and the popularity of the series. Those who remember the situation 50 years since will know that it was almost impossible to build up a good collection of Celtic and Ancient British coins purely because there were too few to go round. However, mostly thanks to the efforts of metal detecting enthusiasts, during the intervening years a host of fresh material has literally come to the surface. Some idea of the amount can be gained by looking through the Celtic Coin Index.


I’ve mentioned Chris Rudd but let’s not forget Elizabeth Cottam. Her flair, imagination, cataloguing and marketing skills are second to none. This has helped in no small way to make Chris Rudd Ltd. the market leader it is today.

Below is my pre-sale preview of the coin:

Pre-sale Review

On 15 November Chris Rudd will be selling by auction a unique gold stater of the Atrebates, which bears the name (in an abbreviated form) of Caratacus. It’s a fairly recent find, which a detectorist unearthed in Berkshire on 10 November 2019. It is the first gold coin of Caratacus ever to be found; it confirms Caratacus as the son of Cunobelinus; and it removes any doubt that the CARA named on silver coins is Caratacus. Comment on this incredibly important coin has come from all the leading authorities on Ancient British coins. Chris Rudd has for some time been the market leader for Ancient British material. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this firm has been entrusted with a sale of this wonderful gold stater. The pre-sale estimate is £30,000 but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this figure is dwarfed by the final bid.

Chris Rudd’s auction catalogue is available here.

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