WILT-FE8512: Late Early-Medieval coin : Penny of Edward the Confessor

Rights Holder: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
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Unique ID: WILT-FE8512

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Description: An Anglo-Saxon silver penny of Edward the Confessor (1042-66), Expanding Cross type, Heavy coinage (early 1050s). The coin has been gilded, and pierced four times close to the edge, from the obverse to the reverse. On the obverse, the holes are arranged at 1, 5, 7 and 11 o'clock and three contain an iron rivet. The die axis is 12.
The positioning of the holes suggests that this coin may have been attached to cloth or leather as a dress accessory to display the reverse cross. However, other coins of this type (and of the broader late Anglo-Saxon and early Norman period) are known to have been mounted as brooches/badges. There are various forms of pin attachment, amongst which are a hinged pin and catch-plate, each attached with two rivets. Although there appears to be no impression from such fittings, the similarity to other pieces makes this a likely interpretation. [i] Although a single coin would not normally constitute Treasure, there are numerous precedents of coins showing secondary treatment as ornaments as objects rather than coins, and therefore as potential Treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act (1996).

Obverse: Diademed bust left; in front, sceptre with a trefoil head
+[E]DW[E]R D RE[
Reverse: Short cross voided with expanding limbs joined at the base by two circles
+[ ]LFPIN[E ] [O]N [PIL]TV:

Moneyer: Ælfwine
Mint: Wilton
Date: Early 1050s
Reference: North 823

Dimensions and metal content: The object measures 19.69mm in diameter and weighs 1.89g (29.1 grains). Coins of this period routinely have a high silver content, far in excess of the 10% threshold stipulated by the Act. Although the presence of the iron rivets lowers the overall percentage of silver, they are too small to bring the total silver content below 10%, while the gilding enhances the precious metal content.

Consequently, in terms of age and precious metal content, the object qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act (1996).

[i] Williams, G, 'Coin-brooches of Edward the Confessor and William I', BNJ 71 (2001), 60-70; Williams, G, 'More Anglo-Saxon and Norman coin-brooches', BNJ 76 (2006), 337-39.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: Pierced
Evidence of reuse: Four piercings

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2012T81


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Date from: Circa AD 1052
Date to: Circa AD 1053

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Weight: 1.89 g
Diameter: 19.69 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 27th January 2012

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2012T81

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Coin data (numismatics)

Denomination: Penny
Ruler/issuer: Edward the Confessor
Mint or issue place: Wilton Castle
Category: Coin of the kings of All England 924/5-1066

Type: N 823 (Expanding cross, heavy)
Obverse description: Diademed bust left; in front, sceptre with a trefoil head
Obverse inscription: +[E]DW[E]R D RE[
Reverse description: Short cross voided with expanding limbs joined at the base by two circles
Reverse inscription: +[ ]LFPIN[E ] [O]N [PIL]TV:
Die axis measurement: 12 o'clock

Coin references

No coin references available.

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Steeple Langford

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth less than 0.25 m

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
North, J.J. 1994 English Hammered Coinage: Volume I. Early Anglo-Saxon to Henry III, c. 600-1272 London Spink and Son Ltd 823

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WILT
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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