Lot 18. Britain, Southern Region. Regni & Atrebates. Verica. Ca. A.D. 10-40. AR unit. Verica Cornucopiae Victory type.
Britain, Southern Region. Regni & Atrebates. Verica. Ca. A.D. 10-40. AR unit (12 mm, 1.19 g, 2 h). Verica Cornucopiae Victory type. COMMI F, pine-cone wand (thyrsus) between two cornucopiae, wine cup below / VERI-[CA], figure seated right, holding spear; behind, shield. ABC 1241; Van Arsdell 531; BMC 1393-419; SCBC 134. Scarce. Lightly toned. Extremely fine.
From the KJG Collection of British Celtic Coins. Ex Rudd 96 (September 2007), 18; Cotwold Collection; CCI 03.0247.
While this type is called Verica Cornucopiae Victory, it seems that this is a misnomer and instead should be Verica Cornucopiae Minerva. The figure on the reverse lacks wings but has the typical accoutrements of Minerva, a spear and shield. The pine-cone wand or thyrsus seen on the obverse is an attribute of the Greek god Dionysos, the god of wine and festivity. The drinking cup that holds the thyrsus positively identifies the type as Dionysiac, but the reason for the association is not known. Perhaps it illustrates a particular love for Greek vintages, which the 'barbarians' like the Celts in England were notorious for consuming neat (i.e., undiluted with water as the Greeks drank their wines) and in prodigious quantities.