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Ex Wicklewood Hoard


NORMAN. Stephen. 1135-1154. AR Penny (19mm, 1.47 g, 5h). Profile/Cross and Piles type (BMC vi). Dunwich mint; Thorsteinn, moneyer. Struck circa 1150-1154. Crowned bust left, holding scepter / + TVRSTEIN [: ON :] DV, cross fleurée, with saltire cross at center and piles surmounted by trefoils in each quarter. Mack –; SCBI –; North 879; SCBC 1281. VF, uneven toning, flat spots, slight bend. Very rare.

Ex Williams Collection; Christie’s (15 May 1990), lot 96; 1989 Wicklewood, Norfolk hoard (Allen, Mints, no. 155).

From the Christie’s sale:

“The coins had evidently been buried in a bank of sandy clay alongside a ditch. Later the bank collapsed and the soil was shoveled into the ditch. The coins were scattered at this time in a 10-foot swath along the ditch. No two coins were touching one another when discovered. Also uncovered in the ditch were a fragment of Iron Age pottery, a bit of Roman samian ware and a late-Saxon or early medieval iron knife.

The coins are a remarkable find, not only for their excellent condition but because they represent a significant number of coins from the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154). The hoard also has a large number of half-pennies and farthings that have been cut into fragments of the original coins. Such cutting was popular at that time because cut coins were the small change of the day.

The coins were struck around 1168 and most of them come from mints in East Anglia, notably Norwich, Thetford and Castle Rising.

The coins in the hoard appear to have been collected through a 25 -year period for they represent the reigns of Henry I, Stephen and his mother, Matilda, David I of Scots and finally King Henry II. Because almost all the coins are from East Anglian mints, it is likely that the person who buried them lived in the area. Some authorities feel that the hoard may have been the buried loot of a Flemish mercenary.

But one thing is certain. The hoard was never reclaimed after the rebellion and that fact alone suggests that whoever buried the 482 coins did not survive the conflict.

Christie's sold 324 of the Wicklewood hoard. The other 158 coins have been retained by the British Museum.”