Early medieval Anglo-Saxon coinage

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Roerbakmix, May 15, 2019.

  1. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure whether this is the right place, as I usually post on the Ancient forum. But anyway: I've recently acquired three Anglo-Saxon pennies. With help from @AnYangMan, I've been able to ID them with some precision. As mentioned, this is not my area of interest/expertise. However, I would like to have a bit more background on the coins, the moneyers, and the (then) current affairs.

    So first of all, the coins and the determination so far.
    Ruler: Æthelred II (978-1017, or Æthelred the Unready). Silver penny. Last small cross type,
    Mint: York, Moneyer: Sumarlithr.
    Head of Aethelred II, draped, crowned, to the left. Inner circle.
    Small cross type with inner circle.
    Details: diameter 20 mm, weight 1.41g. Some peck marks on reverse. Spink 1154
    Ruler: Æthelred II (978-1017, or Æthelred the Unready). Silver penny. Long cross type
    Mint: Winchester, Moneyer: Ælfsige.
    Head of Aethelred II, draped, to the left.
    No inner circle-type.
    Rev: +AELFSIGE MO PINT. Long cross without inner circle.
    Details: diameter 19 mm, weight 1.74g. Some peck marks on reverse. Spink 1154. Looks better in hand, text easier readable. Reverse a bit weak at "PINT".

    Ruler: Cnut (1016-1035, or Cnut the Great). Silver penny. Small cross type.
    Cnut was a son of the Danish prince Sweyn Forkbeard. Leading a coalition with the Swedes, Cnut invaded England in 1015, then ruled by Æthelred II ("the unready"). In 1016, Æthelred died, leaving the defence of London to Edmund Ironside. Edmund's reputation as a warrior was such that Cnut agreed to divide England, Edmund taking Wessex and Cnut the whole of the country beyond the Thames. However, Edmund died (under questionable circumstances) on 30 November and Cnut became king of the whole country. Upon the accession to the Danish throne in 1018, and later in 1027 the Norwegian and Swedish throne, Cnut effectively combined England, Danmark, Norway and Sweden, marking the peak of the Viking Age (793–1066 AD)
    Mint: Lund (Danmark)
    Head of Cnut, draped, to the left. Inner circle.
    Rev: [illegible text]. Partly readable: GOD. Should probably be: +GODPINE M-O LVND.
    Inner circle. Small cross.
    Details: diameter 20 mm, weight 1.64g. Peck mark on reverse.
    Very rare!
    Comparable examples:
    I'm very interested in your opinion on these coins: did I miss something on determination?
    Furthermore, are there more comparable examples to coin no.3 (Cnut). I was only able to find these two.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  3. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

  4. ewomack

    ewomack 魚の下着 Supporter

    Those are some extremely nice examples of Anglo-Saxon coins. For their condition, they would probably sell for a nifty amount, depending on your definition of nifty, of course.

    Spink's "Coins of England" is a good resource for attribution, but I'm not sure if that book would have more information than you already have. It may just reinforce it.

    Regardless of what you do with them, holding something made by people who lived a thousand years ago can fill one with an appreciation for the great big story that we all play a small part in.
    Stevearino likes this.
  5. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    Thanks @ewomack. Indeed, a nifty amount: I've sent these pictures for valuation to different auction houses, both in the UK and in the Netherlands, where I live. Roughly, the estimates are:
    coin 1: €350-450
    coin 2: €400-500
    coin 3: €1000-2500

    I'm not sure about selling though, as the more I read, the more interesting these coins become :)
    Gallienus and Seattlite86 like this.
  6. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    On the coins of Aelthered II, his sobriquet of the "unready may be both inaccurate and unfair. I understand that the Anglo Saxon word being translated as "unready" actually means something like uncounseled or ill advised and paints a different portrait of his difficult reign.
    Stork likes this.
  7. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    @kevin McGonigal, yeah, that's true. He definitely reigned in a difficult period, concerning the increasing pressure of Denmark and Sweden. According to the wiki page on him, "His epithet does not derive from the modern word "unready", but rather from the Old English unræd meaning "poorly advised"; it is a pun on his name, which means "well advised"."
  8. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    As multiple members of the cointalk community asked to inform them on whether or not I would sell these pennies: CNG is auctioning the first and the last of them (i.e. the Aethelred II and the Cnut).

    The Cnut is due for 11 sept:

    The Aethelred II is due for a later auction this year.

    I tried to look up the rules on posting links to auctions, and could not find them. If it's not allowed, I'll remove this post.
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