Aethelstan AD 924-939 Silver Penny Main Issue Small Cross type York mint ex Ryedale Hoard


Code: CS145C

Aethelstan AD 924-939 Silver Penny Main Issue Small Cross type, York mint.

Obverse – ‘EDELSTAN REX TO BRIT’ (Aethelstan king of all Britain) small cross in centre

Reverse – ‘REGNALD MO EFORPIC’ (Regnald moneyer of York) small cross and crescent in centre

S1093, 21mm, 1.36g.

Ex Ryedale hoard, found in Yorkshire.

‘Ryedale Hoard’ of Viking and Saxon Coins

This remarkable hoard of 65 coins and 4 ingots is a fascinating insight into the power struggles of the northern Danelaw and King Aethelstan’s subsequent recapturing of York from the Vikings in a.d. 927. We see on the coins a fascinating mix of the different cultures and religions prevalent in 10th century England.

One Viking piece shows both the Christian cross and Thor’s hammer on the same coin. Other coins in the hoard juxtapose the name of Saint Peter ‘Sancti Petri Moneta’ with a large Viking war sword. Here on the coins is the fusing of cultures which helped shape British history and formed our national identity.

In July 927 Aethelstan took the kingdom of Northumbria and styled himself Rex Totius Britanniae; King of all England. Coins with this title, the first occurrence in British history, are highly sought by collectors. At York a significant effort was made to remove all trace of Viking coinage and replace it with Aethelstan’s own. The ‘Church’ type, of which several were present in the hoard, is the first to be struck at the northern stronghold of York. It is generally accepted that this type depicts an Anglo-Saxon church but some believe that it may even be the earliest depiction of York minster itself. It is these impressive ‘Church’ type coins which give the name of York in its Latin form;’Eboracac’ rather than using the Saxon name ‘Eoferwic’.

The Ryedale Hoard, as a reference tool will give both numismatists and historians a valuable snapshot into this rich and turbulent period of English history. The composition of the hoard is such that both Viking and Anglo-Saxon identities are juxtaposed and presented in their rawest form. Dispersal of such an important historic article as the Ryedale hoard should not be taken lightly and the opportunity to own a coin from such a find is rare.

This coin is part of the Fort collection, a carefully assembled group of English Anglo-Saxon pennies collected for their historical importance and condition. Coins were sourced from reputable dealers and auction houses over some 25 years. Each one comes with the collector’s label, along with any other previous tickets and are sure to sell quickly given their overall high grade and rarity. FortA

Æthelstan (924-937): Regarded by some as the very best of all the English Kings (even better than Alfred), Æthelstan’s achievements draw on aspects of both his father and grandfather’s rule. In addition to being a capable military commander and well-able to defend the realm, he was also a statesman of note. Securing his borders with Wales via clever diplomacy and making supreme efforts to ensure that Scandinavian-aligned Northumbria would not break away from England, he was also deeply concerned with undertaking sweeping legal reforms. A shrewd man in matters fiscal, he promoted regional trade centres, re-organised aspects of the minting process and struck coins bearing his name that declared him ‘King of All Britain’ – a proud but perhaps not totally inaccurate boast. In 937, he achieved a stunning victory when he defeated a joint invasion force of Dublin Norse and Scottish at the Battle of Brunanburgh – though he died only a few years later.

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