Typically, sceatta's are categorized in series (Serie A, B, C, etc.), and grouped within these series in subvarieties (e.g. VICO, VERNVS, etc.). In a relatively short period of time, the gold thrysma's (c. 650-690) debased to the silver sceatta, which in turn consists of two phases: the primary phase (c. 690-715/20) and secondary (c. 715/20 - 760), more or less based on hoard evidence. Usually, coins from the primary phase adhere better to the prototype than those minted in the secondary phase. Though in this area little is known with certainty, it is more or less accepted that the series E sceatta's, or the "porcupines" were minted on the Continent. In a previous post, I presented a stylistic breakdown of the primary phase sceatta's from this series - and the coin I received in the mail falls in this period. To reiterate, this is what I wrote on the Plumed Bird variety: The plumed bird The plumed bird is grouped into four subvariations: On the obverse, we see a bird-like creature with two claws / legs, and a beak. Under the beak, we se a cross, or a pellet-within annulet. On the reverse, we see a central pellet-within annulet, flanked by a group of three pellets (triangle < > for var J; triangle > < for var K - the only difference in this group). Var L is somewhat different, as it includes pellets-within-annulet on the obverse and reverse; var M is known from only four specimens and includes crosses on the reverse (as the series [not variety!] G from France). So, to summarize: Series E, plumed bird, variety J Obverse: naturalistic body and curved neck. Cross-pommée under beak Reverse: four parallel lines, with triangle of pellets (facing outward) Series E, plumed bird, variety K Obverse: naturalistic body and curved neck. Cross-pommée under beak Reverse: same as variety J, but triangle of pellets facing inwards Series E, plumed bird, variety L Obverse: tubular body, with neck continued as a straight line. Under beak a pellet within annulet Five annulets with pellets inside, in each quadrant triangle of pellets. Series E, plumed bird, variety M Very rare subgroup, obverse largely identical to variety L, but reverse shows four crosses, with central annulet with pellet in side. I already have the Plumed bird var J and L (the var K is only a matter of time; and the var M probably unatainable). However, recently, I spotted this specimen: ... which is a mule of a plumed bird with a serie E variety E reverse (see comparable example from my collection below): At first, I believed it to be unique, however, when looking op Metcalf & Op den Veldes exhaustive die study, I identified another, found in Winchester. Interestingly, my coin appears to be a die-match (both obverse and reverse) to their specimen, which in turn was a obverse die-match to another mule (reverse TTO/\ type), which was part of a small hoard found in France. So, though scarce, I was a bit of a bummer to find out it wasn't unique. On to the coin that is in fact unique, and the reason for this thread. Only one week later, another seller I regularly buy from offered a rather poor plumed bird variety. With the experience of the last coin, I quickly checked the reverse, only to find out that this was in fact again a mule - this time not reported in any of the standard works. The coin was shipped to me, in a thick bubble-wrapped enveloppe, sealed in tape. However, when I opened the envelope, this was what greeted me: On close inspection, the coin turned out to be crystallized. Though I was able to glue it all together, it's such a shame: Nonetheless, the coin is of (numismatic) interest, as it combines an unrecorded obverse die with an unrecorded reverse die (probably of series E, var h). Though not die-matched to the two other mules, this is again a combination of a die from the primary phase (690-715) with a reverse die from the secondary phase (715-760). Yet, while the style of the first two (obverse)-die-matched coins could be regarded as imitative, the obverse of the present coin is less crude. Supposing a more or less official mint (if something like that existed in this period), mules like these can offer new insights in the minting process: perhaps the plumed bird types were minted in late-primary phase, or alternatively, the var E, var h and TTo/\-var minted early-secondary. Perhaps this distinction of primary- and secondary phases is not so clear-cut at all. Though unsure to draw a conclusion, possessing a unique coin (even one that's damaged) is fun and encourages me to keep looking for unrecognized rarities. Please, post anything you find relevant!