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Some early-medieval additions: second gold, few sceatta's


Roerbakmix
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Life has been incredible busy last few months, and I haven't been able to post much. About a month ago, I bought my first early-medieval Frisian gold (posted at Cointalk, link). This turned out to be very addicting. There are not that many Frisian tremissis (a couple were posted by @Tejas in the CT-thread), but interestingly, a Nietap-type (named after the hoard found in a small village Nietap, Netherlands, in the early 1900's) was for sale at Elsen. It didn't sell at two earlier auctions, and was now listed with an estimate of 800-1000E. Researching that coin, I looked up the recent Tony Abramson sale, where a similar type sold for about 800 GBP. Another one didn't sell. 

Long story short, I emailed Tony, we agreed upon a price, and my second gold Frisian coin was sent by Spink (free of charge, somehow):

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EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AV Tremissis (Nietap type 1), minted: Frisia?; 620-630 AD
Obv: Die rust / worn die common for type, but remainder of bust to right with legend is visible
Rev: double cross in beaded circle, vestigial legends
Weight: 1.19g; Ø:11mm. Catalogue: SCBI 69, 1090 this coin; cf: T&S 73 = Sutherland 90 = Crondall 95; Metcalf [2016], 22. Provenance: Ex. Tony Abramson, bought from spink auction 21070 lot 998. ; acq.: 05-2022

 

It's a bit of an acquired taste, but I really like this coin 🙂

Next is this series J type 37, which I bought from Ebay. It's really difficult to photograph, as it looks much coarser than it's in hand. Somehow, this type (Series J, type 37) is often poorly minted: off-centered, uneven strikes, poor debased metal, etc. Plated specimens are also encountered frequently, which is uncommon for sceatta's. So the poor Ebay pictures were a bit of a gamble:

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EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Series J, type 37), minted: Mint in Northumbria; 710-725 AD
Obv: Two confronted diademed heads; between, long cross with trident end; double border
Rev: Cross, at each end a bird right; double border.
Weight: 0g; Ø:12mm. Catalogue: . Provenance: Bought on ebay from adl-numismatics, NR 154920101191, found in Norfolk, England, 2018; acq.: 03-2022
Darkly toned, irregular flan

Finally, bought mainly because it was really cheap, my third (!) series E, subtype h sceatta. The secondary phase (c. 720-740 AD) is characterized by an 'explosion' of different sceatta types. Metcalf and Opdenvelde (JMP 2009-2010) grouped these coins into subtypes a-h. Subtype h is the largest, most heterogeneous group of the Series E, with many diverse and interesting designs. 

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EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety h), minted: Frisia; 720-740 AD
Obv: Porcupine figure, with strong curve; one dot in the spine. Three dotted lines beneath, with dots between. No beak, but part of square (?) near distal part.
Rev: Similar reverse type of series E, sub-variety e, reverse var 2: small square within dotted square, within four dots and circle. Zig-zag line outside outer box.
Weight: 0g; Ø:mm. Catalogue: No die-match in JMP 2010. Provenance: Bought from Ebay, ID 284848560657; acq.: 06-2022

 

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Great coins. Nice to get ex Tony Abramson too.

I've been after a Series J Type 37 since I started collecting Saxon coins. I still don't have one. There seem to be quite a few about but they shoot up in price as soon as I'm interested. I'm probably being too fussy, because I've been looking for so long I notice all the anomalies you mentioned. I do, though, have one Series J...

Series J Type 36 Sceatta, 710-760

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York(?). Silver, 1.04g. Diademed head right, cross in front. Two birds right (the back 'legs' of the walking bird appear to be feathers on other versions!), cross in front (Abramson 20-10; S 802D).

 

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You have such beautiful specimens from that time. I hope I see more examples in this thread. I collect ancient coins, I would not do this, the early Middle Ages, especially Britain would be my favorite. But you can't collect everything.

All the more I am happy to see more of your great pieces here.

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At one time I had ambitions to collect a good run of Saxon sceattas but alas! One cannot collect everything.  The first was struck in Kent, the first Anglo-Saxon coin struck in London by Wihtred, circa 690 AD.  Series Bx.  The second coin is another Series J, type 37.  These were struck circa 710 AD.  I purchased it in 2004 from Joe Linzalone of Wolfshead Galleries.  The small diameter of these coins leads to magnified photos, which does the coins a disservice as they appear much rougher than they in fact are.  These coins appear smooth, almost glossy, in real life.  They are only about 8mm in diameter.  image.jpeg.2f9ebd69e45c98840d593893ec64ba4a.jpegimage.jpeg.a824b12f04ab31923d9e3f9f609cfa77.jpeg

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On 6/16/2022 at 5:13 PM, John Conduitt said:

've been after a Series J Type 37 since I started collecting Saxon coins. I still don't have one. There seem to be quite a few about but they shoot up in price as soon as I'm interested. I'm probably being too fussy, because I've been looking for so long I notice all the anomalies you mentioned. I do, though, have one Series J...

Series J Type 36 Sceatta, 710-760

That's a great series J type 36; a type I still lack in my collection. 

I do have this type 85 though, which has the most brilliant toning:

image.jpeg.64cc4b61c85a7e075d0bd2948bd56a3f.jpeg

EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Series J, type 85), minted: Anglo-Saxon; 710-725, York
Obv: Diademed head right, double strand pearl diadem
Rev: A bird on a cross, pellets in field in front of bird and below horizontal bar on the cross; annulets at the ends of the horizontal arms, beaded inner circle
Weight: 0.98g; Ø:10.8mm. Catalogue: . Provenance: Ex Gallery 51 (May auction, lot 185, 30.05.2014), Ex iNumis (Auction 42, lot 191, 05.06.2018), Ex iNumis (shop, 27-04-2021); acq.: 04-2021

 

On 6/16/2022 at 8:53 PM, Hrefn said:

At one time I had ambitions to collect a good run of Saxon sceattas but alas! One cannot collect everything.  The first was struck in Kent, the first Anglo-Saxon coin struck in London by Wihtred, circa 690 AD.  Series Bx.  The second coin is another Series J, type 37.  These were struck circa 710 AD.  I purchased it in 2004 from Joe Linzalone of Wolfshead Galleries.  The small diameter of these coins leads to magnified photos, which does the coins a disservice as they appear much rougher than they in fact are.  These coins appear smooth, almost glossy, in real life.  They are only about 8mm in diameter.  

Excellent series J type 37, such a shame about the flan-crack. You're absolutely right: magnified photo's don't do the coins justice, though some can 'stand' the magnification. Nice Bx also. Slight nitpicking: most sceatta's are 11mm; some (e.g. the Hexagon type, or the series X) are a bit larger at 12-13 mm. 

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2 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Do any of you have a coin from Alfred the Great? 🙂 

I'd love to. I live between his birth and burial places. One day I might own a two line type, but I'd really like to remortgage my house and get a nice portrait. My wife wouldn't agree.

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9 minutes ago, UkrainiiVityaz said:

This is exactly why I should have never ventured here - I only own a couple of Anglo Saxons, both from Northumbria - but I wouldn't mind owning more, but then there is Syracuse and Rome and Byzantine.😆

Northumbria is interesting in that most are attributed.

Eadberht Class Di Series Y Secondary Sceat, 737-758

image.png.2032c5454d84242e3077eaaf2dd7f806.png

York. Silver, 1.00g. Fantastic animal left, cross under tail and triquetra below. Large cross in centre; .EOTBEREhTVF (S 847).

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Posted · Benefactor
5 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

Northumbria is interesting in that most are attributed.

Eadberht Class Di Series Y Secondary Sceat, 737-758

image.png.2032c5454d84242e3077eaaf2dd7f806.png

York. Silver, 1.00g. Fantastic animal left, cross under tail and triquetra below. Large cross in centre; .EOTBEREhTVF (S 847).

There is no picture in the last post.
 

 

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Very cool coins . I don't own any . But I have something very related. A book from the Metcalf Library . A  draft of his book, co-authored with David Hill , "Sceattas in England and on the Continent". It contains a "million" of Metcalfe's  notes, photographs, and personal correspondence ... someone to him - him to someone . I already bragged about this a few months ago on CT, but since this is a new forum, I'll do it again 😀

7985981C-AFE8-4ABE-BCFB-00BCF748F1C8.jpeg.f12320c462fc142c2bcf48e26ef91128.jpegB523B5F7-2506-4E5F-BC07-9D52A272CECC.jpeg.9644b072abd3b0e092839138a18b4c46.jpegEDA7A342-575C-4B02-B7B4-A273165D849E.jpeg.dda1c407f130222880eed58bbb668d0b.jpeg73B74146-52A0-4DC9-B8AD-5E2E7DA4C66A.jpeg.44017aebf836c7e9239c3c42f57cf0a6.jpegE3664D07-DBF6-40CB-B1FC-55126CF83A34.jpeg.932a007ad8c5d5d13d643fdba18da240.jpeg829DEACF-93AE-42FF-AC0D-C6521E4C1549.jpeg.5815eb5645b64031a145a052f6cf5e2b.jpeg

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This is really cool. I remember your post on CT about a year ago (?). It's rather difficult to obtain Metcalf's three-volume standard reference for sceatta's and thrymsa's, but I finally managed to buy it from a dealer in the USA. 

 

On a side note, a friend of mine (@AnYangMan) successfully bid on four sceatta's, which only last week came into my possession:

image01005.jpg

An Interlace or Maastricht type. I'm not sure why this is categorized as a sceatta, as in my opinion it's closer to a Merovingian denier (though that distinction, imho, is rather arbitrary and vague). In hand, the deposits are less pronounced, which explains why I was able to buy this for just 240€ including auction costs. 

image01008.jpg

Series E, primary phase, variety D (at least, that my best guess). This one remained unsold, so I was able to buy it for just 71€ including auction costs. I removed the deposits with sodium thiosulphate, which really improved the coin (will post pictures later). 

image01009.jpg

Series E, primary phase, variety G2. I bid on this coin because it was a both obverse and reverse diematch to the coin in the next lot - which I didn't win! (I noticed it's for sale now on MA-shops for about 200% what the buyer bought it for). Again, in hand, its a much nicer coin than on the pictures, though it's somewhat rough. I'll probably sell it, as I own two variety G2's already. 

image01017.jpg

Series D, primary phase, BMC 8 (obverse/reverse 'mule'). I had two BMC 8 types already, but this one I found interesting because of the very off-centered reverse, showing part of the die that would otherwise have been off-flan. I was able to find a reverse die-match in the standard reference by Metcalf and Opdenvelde (published in JMP 2003). 

Will post my own photos later.

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6 hours ago, VD76 said:

Very cool coins . I don't own any . But I have something very related. A book from the Metcalf Library . A  draft of his book, co-authored with David Hill , "Sceattas in England and on the Continent". It contains a "million" of Metcalfe's  notes, photographs, and personal correspondence ... someone to him - him to someone . I already bragged about this a few months ago on CT, but since this is a new forum, I'll do it again 😀

EDA7A342-575C-4B02-B7B4-A273165D849E.jpeg.dda1c407f130222880eed58bbb668d0b.jpeg

This is very cool. Michael Metcalf wrote the major reference for crusader coins too. Nicholas Mayhew and Luke Treadwell are on the letterhead as well.

I happen to have a Series D type 2c with left-facing bust, as mentioned in the letter. Apparently, only 5% of type 2c have a left-facing bust. Mine came from Tony Abramson's collection. I'll quote the Metcalf reference...

Series D Type 2c Variety 3e Continental Phase Sceat, 695-715

image.png.cadaa23fd4cb64cd622c865187bfb3b7.png

Frisia or Britain. Silver, 1.18g. Crude radiate bust left, with large triangular nose, no eye, chevrons before and behind, linear pyramid neck. Plain cross (SCBI 69, 172 this coin; Beowulf 28 this coin; Metcalf 176 same dies). Ex Tony Abramson. From the Aston Rowant (Oxfordshire) Hoard 1971-1974, found on the Chiltern escarpment near the Icknield Way (a track that ran from Norfolk to Wiltshire).

Edited by John Conduitt
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