Henry I Silver Halfpenny 1100-35AD Winchester


Code: BN259

Henry I Silver Halfpenny 1100-35AD minted by Godwine at Winchester.
13mm, 0.47g

Found near Marlborough, Wiltshire, October 2001.

This coin was offered for sale by DNW in 2002 when it was only the 12th round halfpenny of Henry I known and the first minted in Winchester offered for private sale. There has been other examples found since 2002 but very few in number and this is the first we have been aware of offered for sale in the past few years. This is an extremely rare coin and seldom available to the private collector or institution.

Following the death of William Rufus, his younger brother Henry claimed the thrown of England. Notably, there was a period of monetary crisis during the reign, which led to a public lack of confidence in the quality of the coinage minted. Round halfpennies (as opposed to cut pennies) were struck at a range of mints during the reign, this example at Winchester. The obverse shows a facing head with pellet hair; the reverse a small cross potent with four pellets within each angle.

Footnote from DNW catalogue in 2002:

Round halfpence of Henry I were unknown until just over 50 years ago, when Peter Seaby exhibited a coin of Winchester by the moneyer Godwine A at the British Numismatic Society on 1 March 1950 (North pl.16, 36 and Spink Standard Catalogue, p.135, coin now in the Fitzwilliam Museum). In 1989 four more halfpence were found: Hereford, moneyer Ailred (now in British Museum) and Sandwich, Æthelbold, rev. struck from a type IX Penny die (Fitzwilliam Museum), both in spoil from Thames Exchange; Norwich(?), Thot, found in Norfolk (Fitzwilliam Museum), and York, Othbeorn, found near Newbury. Other coins discovered since include specimens of Oxford, Ægelnoth, Wallingford, Osulf, and Wilton, Ailward (all in Fitzwilliam Museum); another Sandwich, Æthelbold, but regular type, found at Little Mongeham, Kent, in September 1992; and a coin of Winchester, moneyer Wimund, offered at Baldwin’s Auction 7, 2 May 1996, lot 517 and now also in the Fitzwilliam Museum. In sum, 8 of the now 12 known round halfpence of Henry I are in institutions.

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