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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Unique and Challenging Mule

CNG 111, Lot: 1088. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $2400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

NORMAN. Henry I. 1100-1135. AR Penny (19mm, 1.29 g, 1h). Voided Cross and Fleurs/Quatrefoil with Piles type mule (BMC v/vii). Rye mint; Ailwacher, moneyer. Struck circa 1111. Crowned facing bust, scepter over shoulder; star to right / + ELPACHER • ON : RIA, cross pommée in saltire, with annulet at center; all over quatrefoil. EMC 2019.0055 (this coin); SCBI –; cf. North 861/863; cf. SCBC 1266/1268. Good Fine, toned, official edge nick, small perforation on inner circle, soft on king’s face. The earliest known coin for the Rye mint, and a unique mule of types for Henry I.

Found northeast Norfolk, 2018.

This remarkable coin is the earliest known issue of the excessively rare mint of Rye. Furthermore, it is the only recorded mule of an obverse of BMC type V and a reverse of type VII for the reign of Henry I. According to the currently accepted ordering of Henry’s 15 known types, our coin is an extraordinary four type mule. The existence of such a mule might arguably stretch the bounds of credibility in the current accepted sequence. It is only conceivable if production at Rye was so limited and sporadic that none of the intervening types were struck there, and the obverse die was brought back into production perhaps as much as eight to ten years after it was first issued.