April 25 saw Dix Noonan Webb offer the first tranche of Marvin Lessen’s wide-ranging “North Yorkshire Moors Collection of British Coins.” Offered were 290 lots of Iron Age, Roman Imperial, early Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Viking coins. The sale also included the “Parcel of Coins” from the Cuerdale Hoard assigned to Sir John Campbell. Coin quality was to the fore. Desirable rarities were scattered throughout.
Top billing went to a delightful aEF, Phase III, London monogram, rare silver penny of Alfred the Great (S-1061). This issue was relatively short-lived. It took place about 880 C.E. and represents the resumption of Alfred’s control over the city following the death of Ceolwulf II, last king of an independent of Mercia.
The high-quality rarity went to the block with an estimate of £8,000-10,000 and was quickly bid up to $28,434 [£20,400].
Like all good auction catalogs, this one held a sleeper. Lot 76 consisted of two antoninianii, both “C” mint and showing Salus standing left, holding scepter and feeding a serpent rising from an altar (RIC-400). One was 4.64 g and graded “fine or better.” The other weighed 3.53 g and was described as “excavated.” They carried an estimate of £100-200 but galloped away to realize $26,762 [£19,200].
For your reporter, the first 40-odd lots were enchanting. Many bore the first numismatic mention and representations of Britannia. Several are presented here:
Full catalog details and prices realized may be found on the DNW website: www.dnw.co.uk.
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