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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 103, Lot: 1166. Estimate $1000.
Sold for $1000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ANGLO-SAXON, Kings of Wessex. Æthelstan. 924-939. AR Penny (22.5mm, 1.48 g, 6h). Small cross/Horizontal-Trefoil 1 (HT 1) type (BMC i). Uncertain mint; Ari, moneyer. + ÆÐELSTA•N REX, small cross pattée / ARE M./ONETA in two lines; three crosses pattée between, trefoil above, bar and pellet below. Blunt, Aethelstan 370 note; SCBI –; SCBI 34 (BM), 200 = BMC 95 (same obv. die); EMC –; North 668/3; SCBC 1089. EF. Extremely rare variety with trefoil-pellet reverse.

Although Blunt placed all the coins of this moneyer under his North Eastern I mint, he noted that the style of the BMC 95 piece, struck from the same obverse die as the current specimen, was unusual. Perhaps equally important, he did not note that the reverse was actually a variety of the Horizontal-Trefoil/Two-line type, with a pellet in the bottom field, rather than a trefoil. The style here, in fact, is more refined than the large, bold lettering usually equated with the North East I mint, and it also has the outer linear circle that is typically absent on issues from that mint. The authors of CTCE, however, did note the difference (CTCE, p. 112), and suggested that such issues may belong to the North Eastern II mint. Nonetheless, the style of the Two-line type coins from even that mint is still distinctly different from that on the present coin (cf. Blunt 421–4). As such it is likely that this coin was struck in a mint south of the former Danelaw.