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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Very Rare Viking Penny of Svend Forkbeard

CNG 109, Lot: 807. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $4250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

DENMARK. Svend I Tveskæg (Forkbeard). Circa 986-1014. AR Penny (20mm, 2.15 g, 3h). Imitation of an Æthelred II Crux obverse/Intermediate Small Cross reverse types, York mint, moneyer Asketill. Lund(?) mint. Struck circa 997-1014. + EÐELRED REX Λ(NG)LOX, bust left; scepter before / + • OZ••CETL II–O EOFRII:O, small cross pattée. Malmer Chain 101, dies 9.1079 = Blackburn, English 5 (dies A/e); SCBI 29 (Merseyside), 1055 (same dies); Hild. 812 (same dies). VF, darkly toned, some peck marks as usual. Very rare.

From the BRN Collection.

This coin is struck from official dies taken from the English mint of York, muling the Crux type of Æthelred II on the obverse and on the reverse Æthelred's Intermediate Small Cross type by the York moneyer Asketill. Malmer's die study of the Anglo-Scandinavian coinage solidified the view that three geographic groups exist, correlating generally to the medieval kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. These dies are extensively linked to a chain that falls in the 'southern' group. It is thought that the coins of this group were likely struck in the Danish kingdom at the mint of Lund, with some possibly belonging to Sigtuna. Although these coins imitating the Anglo-Saxon series were struck until c. 1020, when Cnut the Great was striking his own coinage, this particular type, among the earliest issues, probably did not even last to the end of the reign of Svend Forkbeard.