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THE CATALOGUE - SERIES Z
The chronology, and the relationship of groups to classes
1.1 Beaded neck truncation
1.2 Linear neck truncation
2.1 Whisks around head
2.2 No whisks around head
3.1 Bead lips
3.2 "V" stalked lips
4.1 Beads on inside of tail
4.2 Beads on outside of tail
The coins of Series Z were the last to go into production. Their distribution was different from both Series X and Y and is difficult to pinpoint, although I believe that the mint site was on or near the West Coast of Normandy, technically in the territory of the Unelli.
The design of the obverse of these coins is highly derivative of the coins of Series X, but the elements borrowed were not used in the same order as in Series X. Design changes are made on such a random basis that it is impossible to state with any certainty which order the coins run in. I have divided them into two groups on the basis of the design of the tail of the pony. That these groups are consecutive is fairly certain, because of changes occasioned by the abandonment of the whisks and the introduction of a V-shaped mouth. Both of these features come early in Series X, but are at opposite ends of Series Z. I have chosen to place the coins with whisks first, because it is most likely that they would be abandoned when it was realized that they were generally off the flan, or weakly struck by being too near the edge. When the only parts of the design that appear evolutionary are in fact derivative, it is difficult to be certain of the chronology. The reverse designs actually vary only in the type of tail, and even this variation shows little imagination. All in all, these coins are a sorry lot, perhaps produced in a hurry by die engravers with little craft and pride in their work. Rybot remarked that there were probably more dies than recorded, but with so much similarity, and many differences perhaps attributable to faulty striking, it was difficult to sort them out.
Series Z coins have an eye and nose arrangement on the obverse that most closely resembles that of Group J, although the line through the pupil, characteristic of that group, appears on only one of the Series Z coins. There is a beaded mouth ornament very similar to the front whisks on the coins of Group A and B. When there are whisks around the head, there are three of them, of the same design as in Groups C to F. The forelocks are of the same type as those of Groups H to M. The back of the neck is a continuation of one or two of the hairs. The reverse design is less derivative, but shows little variation: the pony's head resembles the commonest type of Group H to K, but omits both the eye and the cheek section, extending the line of the mouth back to run parallel with the inside of the mane. The nose has a bead at the tip. The rear leg of the pony has a crutch shape at the top, framing half of the rump. This device appeared on the hind leg of the boar on Coin 67 of Group J. The pony also has fetlocks. The tail's outline is similar to those of Group A to K, but it curves backward more at the tip. The tail is either outlined with a solid line and has a single beaded line in the centre, or is outlined by a beaded line with a single solid line in the centre.
The driver is set high above the pony and leans forward, his nose almost touching the mane, his body segmented as in Group G and I to K, but without the attached curl. There is a curl, though, behind and below the driver's body, connecting to a beaded line curving over his back and extending forward as a lash. It curves down in front of the pony, ending in front of the emblem, usually consisting of a cross of four pellets, sometimes connected by two crossed bars, sometimes only one bar connecting two, and sometimes no bars at all.
There is an additional beaded line that rises from the leaf shape at the end of the mane and curves back and downward close beneath the driver's body to meet the first beaded line above the curl, lending an aspect of arm and hand to the curl and leaf of the pony's mane. This beaded line may also double as the side of the chariot and the shoulder and upper arm of the driver. The driver's head is shaped like a tennis racket with a bead for an eye and another at the tip of the nose. Above the head and the upper beaded line is another emblem of the same type as those in front of the pony. Below the pony is a boar whose body, bristles, and tail are of the same style as those In-Groups H to M. The boar's head extends upward from the front of the chest towards the pony's knee, and consists of a straight line with a large bead at the base and a smaller bead at the top. There is a tusk, represented by a small pointed line that rises at a right angle near the end of the snout. The boar's legs are represented by a wide V shape with a bead at each end and one at the junction. This is the most curious part of the design; it appears nowhere else on Celtic coins, and it is temping to view it as a proto-legend with the V standing for VIRIDOVIX and/or VNELLI (Viridovix of the Unelli, was the commander-in-chief of the Armorican forces defeated by Sabinus in 56 B.C).