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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Exceptional Alfred

Triton XXII, Lot: 1368. Estimate $20000.
Sold for $18000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ANGLO-SAXON, Kings of Wessex. Alfred the Great. 871-899. AR Penny (19mm, 1.30 g, 12h). Cross-and-Lozenge type (BMC v). Uncertain mint; Beorheah(?), moneyer. Struck circa 877-880s. ΛELFRED REX SΛX, diademed bust right / BER HAH MOH ETΛ, cross pattée within lozenge over long beaded cross; crossbars at lozenge ends. Blackburn & Keynes Cantebury B style (moneyer unrecorded); SCBI –; BMC –; North 629; SCBC 1058. Near EF, darkly toned. Unrecorded moneyer for issue. Extremely rare.

Ex Classical Numismatic Group 87 (18 May 2011), lot 2074.

Our understanding of the cross and lozenge coinage of Alfred the Great and his contemporary Ceolwulf II of Mercia has been transformed by the discovery of the Wattlington Hoard in 2015. This extremely important hoard of some 200 coins, jewellery and hack silver was acquired by the Ashmolean Museum after a major fund raising campaign. The cross and lozenge coinage is now firmly recognized as a joint issue of the kings of Wessex and Mercia acting in unison under extraordinary circumstances as their territories were ravaged by marauding Viking armies. Though Mercia was unable to withstand the onslaught Alfred held firm and turned the tide against the foreign invaders, laying the foundations for a new, united kingdom of England in the struggle.