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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
11101054

Key Rarity in the Northumbrian Series

CNG 111, Lot: 1054. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $21000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ANGLO-SAXON, Kings of Northumbria. Æthelwald Moll, with Archbishop Ecgberht. 759-765. AR Sceatt (13mm, 1.06 g, 12h). York mint. + EDIh∂ΓD around central small cross pattée / ECGBERhT ΛR around central small cross pattée. SCBI –; BMC –; Pirie –; Pirie, Guide 2.4; Beowulf 1446 (same obv. die); North 193 note (Alchred); SCBC 853. Good VF, dusky find patina, some hard green deposits. Extremely rare, the finest of only four known specimens.


Found Yapham, East Riding, Yorkshire 2018.

For over 150 years, only a single, chipped specimen of this extremely rare coinage was known. Found in Richmond, Yorkshire in 1832, the legend was initially read as EDIIHALD, and correctly given to Æthelwald Moll. Grantley (“On a unique Styca of Alchred of Northumbria and Archbishop Ecgberht,” in NC [1893]) interpreted it as an issue of Alchred, assuming that the final two letters were retrograde AL, a view which predominated until Stewart (“A Northumbrian Coin of King Ethelwald and Archbishop Ecgberht,” NC [1991]) returned again to the original reading, arguing that the whole legend should be read retrograde and outwards. Since then, three further specimens have been discovered, confirming the reading by Stewart. The attribution to Æthelwald Moll is no longer in doubt (See James Booth, “Notes on the Keith Chapman Collection of Northumbrian Silver Sceattas: c. 700-c. 788,” in: T. Abramson, ed., Studies in Early Medieval Coinage 2 [London, 2011], p. 193).