Spink’s sale of Allan Williams’ remarkable collection of Anglo-Saxon and Norman coins was completed on Jan. 29 when the fourth and final tranche was offered. This comprised some 180 coins of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Kent, Mercia, East-Anglia, and Wessex plus numerous pennies of the Anglo-Saxon kings of all England. These were followed by 95 early Norman coins.
Top-selling price of $8,632 [£6,600] was achieved by a rare 1.608 g silver penny of Aethelstan, 924-939 C.E., showing the monarch’s crowned bust (S-1095; Blunt 302 and pl. xiii this coin).
Struck at Winchester by moneyer Otic, the coin came with an enviable provenance that included the Montagu, Murdoch, Brunn, Drabble, and Norweb collections. Graded VF, it went to the block with a £1,500-2,000 estimate.
Close behind pricewise came a very rare 12th century 0.78 g penny of Matilda, Dowager Empress, Countess of Anjou, and would-be Queen of England (cf. S-1326; Boon-51). Struck at Cardiff by Bricmar, the Countess is shown crowned and draped holding a scepter. The reverse carries a Cross Moline with lis in its angles.
The coin was part of the Coed-y-Wenallt hoard located in 1980. In aF, it easily made $7,860 [£5,000] on its £2,000-2,500 estimate.
A 1.02 g penny of Wulfred, Archbishop of Canterbury, 805-832 C.E. (S-887), took out third-highest price. Found in France in 1991, this is a superb coin that easily graded EF. It sold for $5,502 [£4,200] on a £3,000-4,000 estimate.
Matilda’s son, Henry of Anjou, who would become Henry II following Stephen’s death, produced an extremely rare penny struck by Jordan at Malmesbury c. 1150 (S-1327). Previous owners included Marshall Faintich. In aVF, it realized $4,709 [£3,600].
An earlier Henry, Henry I, produced a desirable 1.215 g penny of the Cross Fleury type (S-1263A). It is the only recorded specimen of the moneyer Godric for this type. In VF, it took an easy $3,930 [£3,000] on a £1,000-1,200 estimate.
The top-priced lot of Matilda’s bitter rival, King Stephen, was a “Watford” irregular issue reading PERERIC and struck at Lincoln by Sigward. It had been part of the Prestwich hoard sold by Glendining in 1974. In VF, it managed a healthy $3,301 [£2,520].
The total realized for this sale was $184,554 [£141,144], including 20% premium. The four sales of Williams’ collection as a whole totaled $2,251,115 [£1,721,616]. Not bad for a few silver pennies.
Full catalog details are available from www.spink.com.
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