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A late top 10 on a relatively late era: Roerbakmix's top 10 early medieval coins.


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Having just purchased my 100th sceatta, 2023 has been a productive year for my collection. A total of 44 new coins have been added, and though I wasn't able to keep the net balance at zero (I challenge myself keeping a neutral balance. I believe this keeps the collection healthy by selling coins that are not in the scope.) my entire collection has now cost me the grand sum of €875 in total. I now have 100 sceattas, 4 tremisses/thrymsas, 2 Saxon pennies, a Merovingian denier, and a Carolingian denier - thus a total of 108 coins. Another four sceattas are currently between the UK and the Netherlands, one of which will probably be featured in my top 2024. 

Sceattas are traditionally stylistically and chronologically categorized in series (Series A, B, C, D, E, etc.), which are subdivided in BMC types (Series D BMC 2c, 8, 10, etc). The relatively recent publication of Sceatta List by Tony Abramson expands on this, identifying > 500 different sceatta types stylistically categorized in Sceatta List numbers (SL). I'm constant on the lookout for new varieties, and this (hopefully) is reflected in this top 10: I've decided to present my coins a bit different than in the previous year. There are no 10 coins: instead, I'll present the most interesting additions in the context of the series (outlined in most cases with yellow squares around the coins). 

#10 - the VERNVS group

VERNVS sceattas are considered early primary phase. I have added three of these in 2023 (highlighted by the yellow box). They have resemblance to Series A. I posted a detailed thread on this coin type here. In short, there are two theories regarding the progression of the obverse. Blackburn suggests an increase in abstraction, i.e. a clear bust progressing into a more abstract one, whereas Metcalf and Op den Velde propose an exact opposite. Intuitively, I'm inclined to agree with the theory by Blackburn, and have posted my five VERNVS varieties using his chronology (which, incidentally, is also the exact chronology of acquisition). 

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Coin 1 (upper left): Magna Frisia (695-710, Frisia) Weight: 1.20g; Ø:11 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 6-10; die-matched obv die chain 3463-5 JMP 2009/2010. acq.: 12-2020 Ex. iNumis 05-03-2019; acquired 14-12-2020. Discussed here in more detail

Coin 2 (upper right): Magna Frisia (695-710, Frisia) Weight: 1.1g; Ø:11.1 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 6-10; die-matched to obv die chain 3463-5 JMP 2009/2010. acq.: 05-2021 Bought from Johan Wiersma. Found near Barham, Mid Suffolk, UK on 01-03-2011    PAS SF-D712D2 Discussed in more detail here

Coin 3 (middle left): Magna Frisia (695-710, Frisia) Weight: 0.93g; Ø:10.2 mm. Catalogue: Not in JMP 2009/10. acq.: 01-2023 Elsen auction 153, lot 798

Coin 4 (middle right): Magna Frisia (695-710, Frisia) Weight: 1.11g; Ø:11.4 mm. Catalogue: Not in JMP 2009/10. acq.: 01-2023 Ex. Noonans 28-09-2022 lot 1638. Bought from ebay seller Fortuna Numismatics, ID: 314240755272

Coin 5 (lower left): Magna Frisia (695-715/720) Weight: 10.2g; Ø:1.1 mm. Catalogue: Not in JMP 2009/10. acq.: 03-2023 Ex. Noonans auction 13-07-2022, lot 57, Ex. Victor Parson 03-2023

#9 A splendid Herstal sceatta.

In June, I was very successful in a regional auction where a small collection of high-grade sceattas had been consigned. It received little attention of the international public, probably because it appeared relatively late on Numisbids. I discussed the Herstal type back in 2020 at Cointalk (a different coin, but the same type). See here. In short, the Herstal is a bit of an 'orphan sceatta' (and listed as such in the Abramson Sceatta List). It's substantially larger than the average sceatta - 13-14 mm vs. 10-11 mm. It copies the hexagon design of a Merovingian denier from Reims. Yet, a large proportion of the Franeker hoard, found in the 19th century near this Frisian city, consisted of this type confirming that this type circulated in the Frisian region in the early secondary phase. 

This Herstal sceatta is in superb condition with a nice patina, showing little to no wear. Interestingly, it sold for less than in Kunker 2005. I'm sure it must have an older provenance. 

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EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Hexagon or 'Herstal' type), minted: Frisia Magna or Austrasia; 715-750
Obv: Cross within Star of David-like design; pellets around 
Rev: Central cross with radiating lines around and cross above
Weight: 1.31g; Ø:13.2 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 109.10; Metcalf p. 256–8; SCBI –; EMC 2001.1261; North –; SCBC 796..
Provenance:
•    Ex. Künker auction 105, lot 1975 (27-09-2005)
•    Ex. Henzen List 173/951
•    Ex. AA muntenveiling auction 62 (17-06-2023); acq.: 06-2023
 

#8 A series B with a certain archaic style 

Series B is not my favorite series. The coins look very much alike: a diademed bust on the obverse, and a bird on a cross on the reverse. The series is attributed to Kent, and the little variety of the design suggests some form of standardization which is unusual for sceattas. This specific coin is different: it does show the typical diademed bust, but there is a cross (which is not unusual), and a pelleted circle which might resemble the sun. It was found in France, and I know of only two others with a similar design: both sold by CNG, one of those a doubble die match to mine.  I really like this coin - it's really crowded and in my opinion may may be the prototype for the series.

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EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Series BIb, type 27b), minted: Mint in Essex or East Anglia; c 685-700
Obv: Diademed head to right, cross before, pelleted jewel before
Rev: Bird on cross to right, surrounded with annulets and dots, within dotted ouroboros (serpent eating its own tail). 
Weight: 1.09g; Ø:12 mm. Catalogue: Not in Sceatta list. Provenance: Bought from Finder (Raphael Seillier); acq.: 10-2023
Published: To be published in Sceatta List IV
 

#7 a superb example of series Bz 

Staying close to series B. It's a type I haven't research much. It was on my wish list however, because of the Christ like figure (?) on the reverse, showing resemblance to Edvard Munch's The Scream. It's a well centered example with good toning, and it was part of the same collection as #9 (of which I could track down the provenance to 2005) - this coin probably has an older provenance as well. 

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EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Series Bz, type 29b), minted: Essex or East Anglia; 700-710
Obv: •VV++•++ΛI, rudimentary facing head of Christ
Rev: Bird standing right upon cross; unclear legend around.
Weight: 1.2g; Ø:10.9 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 17-10. Provenance: Ex. Elsen liste 239 lot 366
Ex. AA muntenveiling auction 62 (17-06-2023); acq.: 06-2023

#6 an expansion to my plumed bird flock

Plumed bird sceattas - a subgroup of the primary phase (695-715) continental Series E are probably my favorite varieties. I added two plumed birds - upper row right, second row left. A third one is currently traveling from the UK to the Netherlands – perhaps in the opposite direction it traveled 1400 years ago.

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Coin 1 (upper left): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, variety K. Frisia (695-715/720) Weight: 1.25g; Ø:11.6 mm. Catalogue: No die match in JMP 2010. acq.: 04-2021 Ex. Hollandia Numismatics

Coin 2 (upper right): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, uncertain variety. Frisia (695-715/720) Weight: 1.12g; Ø:12.3 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 87-30. acq.: 10-2023 

Coin 3 (second row, left): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, variety J. Frisia (695-715/720) Weight: 1.2g; Ø:11.9 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 87-30. acq.: 10-2023 Via Ebay (freedomsearchers14, ID 335042886566)

Coin 4 (second row, right): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, variety J. Frisia (695-715/720) Weight: 0.68g; Ø:12 mm. Catalogue: JMP 2009/2010, die chain 8-10. acq.: 11-2019 Bought from J.T.M. van Bergen

Coin 5 (third row, left): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, variety L. "Frisia (695-715/720) Weight: 1.17g; Ø:12.1 mm. Catalogue: SL 87-10 No die match in JMP 2009/2010 . acq.: 04-2021 Ex. 51 Gallery (auction 30-05-2014) lot 176 [Hammer 250]
Ex iNumis (auction 42, lot 190, 05.06.2018)"

Coin 6 (third row, right): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, variety L. "Frisia (695-715/720) Weight: 1g; Ø:12 mm. Catalogue: SL 87-10
No die match JMP 2009/2010. acq.: 11-2019 Bought from J. Wiersma, who bought it from the finder in 2018"

Coin 7 (fourth row, left): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, uncertain variety (mule). Frisia (Uncertain date) Weight: 0.86g; Ø:13 mm. Catalogue: Unique, unreported variety. acq.: 12-2020 Bought from H. de Jong

Coin 8 (fourth row, right): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, uncertain variety (mule). Frisia magna (690-750 AD) Weight: 0.32g; Ø:9.3 mm. Catalogue: Not in JMP 2009/2010. acq.: 10-2022 Bought from Le Numis d'or, Ebay (ID 185594493974)

Coin 9 (fifth row, left): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, uncertain variety (mule, rev. sub-variety E). Frisia (Uncertain date) Weight: 0.63g; Ø:11 mm. Catalogue: Die match to JMP 2009/2010 corpus 164. acq.: 12-2020 Bought from H. Eeuwe

Coin 10 (fifth row, right): Series E, primary phase, plumed bird type, uncertain variety. Frisia Magna (690-715 AD) Weight: 1.02g; Ø:10.9 mm. Catalogue: . acq.: 10-2022 Bought on Ebay from Yamushi, Ebay nr: 195378840092

#4 A large variety of ‘porcupines’

Series E is super diverse. In 2009 and 2010, Metcalf and Op den Velde published their attempt to organize the series, dividing the series in a primary, secondary and tertiary phase based on hoard evidence and style. Coins from the secondary phase are especially difficult to put in a group. This probably reflects how these coins were minted back in the 700s: there was little standardization, and it is assumed that that merchants coined their silver at local silversmiths. I have added 15 coins from series E (not including the plumed birds above, which are also part of this series).

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AR Sceatta (Series E, primary phase, variety D), minted: Frisia; 695-715/720
Obv: Quilled crescent or 'porcupine' with small V (both ends attached to spine); spine ending in annulet. Two dots below spine; part of cross-pommee below
Rev: Central annulet flanked with four pellets, within (small) dotted square, garbled legend outside
Weight: 11.9g; Ø:1.13 mm. Catalogue: Obverse and reverse die match to JMP 2009/2010 675-676 (found in Coddenham, and Aston Rowant respectively). Provenance: 
Ex. Noonans auction 13-07-2022, lot 56
Ex. Victor Parson 03-2023; acq.: 03-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, primary phase, variety G3), minted: Frisia; 680-715 AD
Obv: Quilled crescent curved right, part of large Z below
Rev: Square standard of line with dots, inside pellet within annulet, horizontal line above and below ending in dots on each side. 
Weight: 1.23g; Ø:11.6 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 89-30. Provenance: Ex. Elsen auction 156, lot 774; acq.: 09-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, primary phase, variety G3), minted: Frisia; 680-715 AD
Obv: Quilled crescent to the right, large letters ZA below
Rev: Square standard of line with dots, inside pellet within annulet, horizontal line above and below ending in dots on each side. 
Weight: 1g; Ø:12.1 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 89-30. acq.: 07-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, primary phase, variety G3 ), minted: Frisia; 695-715/720
Obv: Quilled crescent or 'porcupine' with sharp V (only proximal end attached to spine); distal part of spine ending with in two pellets. Parts of letters Z and O below, largely off-flan. 
Rev: Beaded standard with central pellet-within annulet, flanked by pellets and horizontal lines, all within dotted square border. Pellets and cross-pommee outside
Weight: 1.16g; Ø:11.6 mm. Catalogue: . Provenance: Ex. Lockdales auction 135, 14/05/2016, lot 1359
Ex. Hanson auction 26/08/2021, lot 370
Ex. Victor Parson 03-2023; acq.: 03-2023
Find location: Unknown Published: No
 

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AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety b), minted: Frisia; 715-755 
Obv: Quilled crescent or 'porcupine' with five vertical lines below spine 
Rev: TToII within standard
Weight: 0.88g; Ø:12.7 mm. Catalogue: acq.: 10-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety D), minted: Frisia; 715-755
Obv: Quilled crescent or 'porcupine' with three vertical lines below spine (one attached to distal end)
Rev: TToII within standard
Weight: 0.89g; Ø:13.1 mm. acq.: 10-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety k), minted: Frisia; 715-755
Obv: Quilled crescent to the right, four lines below, horizontal line below
Rev: central annulet flanked by abstract figures (horizontally minored)
Weight: 0.65g; Ø:10.8 mm. acq.: 07-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety i), minted: Frisia; c. 710-750 AD
Obv: Quilled crescent or 'porcupine' to the right, four lines below, one dot, triangle and annulet below
Rev: Central annulet, within square, within square, outside three dots on each side, within circle
Weight: 1.09g; Ø:12.1 mm. Catalogue: Not in JMP 2010. Provenance: Ex Schulman fixed price sale; acq.: 12-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety k (left faced variety)), minted: Frisia; 715-755
Obv: Quilled crescent to the left, triangle beak, zig-zag line below
Rev: TToII reverse with tufa
Weight: 0.51g; Ø:10.6 mm. Catalogue: Obv. and rev. die match to JMP 2009/2010 die chain 2692-2694; acq.: 07-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety k (left faced variety)), minted: Frisia; 715-755
Obv: Quilled crescent to the left, cross-pommee below, large H and pellets
Rev: Central pellet-within-annulet, four dots around, all within (small) dotted circle, cross outside. 
Weight: 0.6g; Ø:10.5 mm. Catalogue: Not in JMP 2009/2010; acq.: 10-2023
Reverse similar to primary phase var. D. Crude style of the obverse suggests an imitation. Minor deposits on obverse. 

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety k), minted: Frisia; 715-755
Obv: Quilled crescent to the right, four lines below
Rev: Elaborate standard, central pellet-within-annulet, flanked by lines in swatsika-pattern, within dotted border, four pellet-within-annulets outside
Weight: 0.96g; Ø:11.3 mm. Catalogue: No die match in JMP 2009/2010. acq.: 07-2023
Published: To be included in SL IV

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety k), minted: Frisia; 715-755
Obv: Quilled crescent to the right, triangle beak (not attached to spine), pellet inside, anulet below, large barred I
Rev: Central annulet, flanked by a square dotted border, within square, tufa outside
Weight: 0.91g; Ø:11.8 mm. Catalogue: Similar, but not identical, to JMP 2009/2010 die-chain 2319-20. acq.: 07-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety k), minted: Frisia; 715-755
Obv: Quilled crescent above pellet-outlined dolphin shape with central band, bars below.
Rev: Central annulet, four diagonal bars, pellets between, within dotted square
Weight: 0.97g; Ø:11.9 mm. Catalogue: SL 100-20.
No die match in JMP 2009/2010. Reverse similar to 2614-20. acq.: 10-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, secondary phase, sub-variety k), minted: Frisia; 715-755
Obv: Quilled crescent or 'porcupine' with three vertical lines below spine (one attached to distal end)
Rev: Saltire cross with large central annulet, within square dotted border, flanked by pellets.
Weight: 0.96g; Ø:11.4 mm. Catalogue: Obverse and reverse die-match to JMP 2009/2010 2631-2632,( Domburg and De Meern). Provenance: Ex. Victor Parsons 03-2023; acq.: 03-2023

AR Sceatta (Series E, stepped cross var), minted: Frisia; 690-715 AD
Obv: Porcupine' head to the right, spikes ending in dot. Beak connected to spine, but not at distal end. Dot within beak. Annulet under spine; several dots around. 
Rev: Stepped cross with pellet-in-annulet at center and pellets around between arms of the cross
Weight: 0.82g; Ø:11.3 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 91-10. acq.: 10-2023
 

#4 WIGRAED, or three WIGRAEDs.

Wigraed sceattas – named after the Runic name of (probably) the moneyer on the obverse – are part of series R, specifically R10. They mark the end of the sceatta age, apparent for this reason (apart from the similar TILBERT R11 sceattas, no other sceatta bears the name of a moneyer), and because of the poor alloy containing almost no silver at all.  I have discussed the Wigraed in detail here, and confirmed the East England mint, probably in Suffolk. The sceatta above was one of my first sceattas, the other two were bought this year.

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Coin 1: EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Series R10 (Wigraed)), minted: East Anglia, uncertain mint; c. 710-750 AD
Obv: Radiate bust of crude style right, annulet either side of head, runic ""WIGR"", before, ΛO and pellets behind, wearing collared drapery
Rev: Beaded degenerate standard containing symmetrical geometric symbols, central annulet, cross pommée to each side, diagonals at outer corners
Weight: 0.72g; Ø:11 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 11.150
Chris Timms obverse group 1, subgroun 2. Reverse group 2. . Provenance: Coin fair Houten; bought from E. Datema; acq.: 09-2020

Coin 2: EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Series R10 (Wigraed)), minted: East Anglia, uncertain mint; c. 710-750 AD
Obv: Radiate bust of crude style right, annulet either side of head, runic ""WIGR"", before, ΛO and pellets behind, wearing collared drapery
Rev: Beaded degenerate standard
Weight: 0.71g; Ø:12.1 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 11.150
Chris Timms Obv. group 3, subgroup 1. Reverse group 1. Provenance: Found by Charles Brown
Ex. Victor Parsons 05-2023; acq.: 05-2023
Find location: Found near Kings Lynn, Norfolk Published: EMC 2023.0530

Coin 3: EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AR Sceatta (Series R10 (Wigraed)), minted: East Anglia, uncertain mint; c. 710-750 AD
Obv: Radiate bust of crude style right, annulet either side of head, runic ""WIGR"", before, ΛO and pellets behind, wearing collared drapery
Rev: Beaded degenerate standard
Weight: 0.67g; Ø:11.9 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 11.150
Chris Timms Obv. group 3, subgroup 1. Reverse group 1. Provenance: Found by Charles Brown, sold to David Jenner, and bought from him. ; acq.: 11-2023
Find location: Downham Market, Norfolk Published: EMC 2023.0503.
 

#3 the transition from thrymsa to sceatta.

The PADA thrymsa is a transitional type from the early primary phase, when the gold thrymsas were minted with increasingly lower gold and higher silver contents. The coins aren’t particularly rare, but they are sought after especially those in gold. I missed a spectacular PADA one in October, which sold for way too low on Facebook, so when a corroded and uncleaned example was offered cheaply I bought it as placeholder. I gave it a clean, and am happy with the results: the runes on the reverse are clearly legible and the bust is very typical for the issue.

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AV Thrysma (PADA, PaIII, type 97), minted: Kent; c.665/70-670/5
Obv: Diademed bust right, jewel before, row of pellets behind head, square drapery, legend NV/vNI [?] surrounding
 Rev: Plain central cross, annulets in quarters, within beaded circle, part Runic legend reads PADA in runes 
Weight: 0.84g; Ø:11 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 1-50. acq.: 10-2023

 

#2 two extremely rare series J types.

Series J is attributed to East Anglia. The series has some similarities with series B, especially types 85 (see below). There are two subtypes that are extremely rare:  a reverse variety of type 36 (two examples known, of which I now own one), and type 60 (three examples known, idem). I also bought an upgrade to my type 37 – a subtype that usually is poorly minted and very often plated or debased. In the photo below, all my series J sceattas are grouped: first, the normal type 36 showing a diademed bust on the obverse, holding a cross. The reverse shows a bird – possibly a peace dove given the Christian symbolic, again flanked by a cross. A small bird is depicted above. The type 36 variety shows a similar obverse, but now, the bird is bitten by a snail. This variety is extremely rare, with the only other example in the Tony Abramson collection (a double die match). 

The two rows below shows the common type 37: two facing busts on the obverse, and a group of birds flying right. These three coins all have their issues: weak spots (coin 1), corrosion (coin 2), and an off-center one in good silver (coin 3). Together, they represent type 37: common to find, but difficult to get in good condition. I’m still looking for a decent example. On the third row, I have included another rarity (only three examples known): type 60. The bust is very similar to type 85 (row 4 and 5) and series B, but the reverse is unique with two snakes / serpents coiled around each other, their heads facing. The coin is excessively rare, and though it has its issues, I’m happy to have included it!
 
The row below shows a coin similar to type 37: two facing busts on the obverse, and an abstracted bird fighting a snake or serpent with its mouth wide open. The tail of this serpent forms the dotted circle around the bird. It’s a relatively scarce type. Finally, marking the end of the series, two coins of type 85. Note the similarity between series B, especially on the second coin. 

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Coin 1 (upper left): AR Sceatta (Series J, type 36), minted: Anglia; 710-760
Obv: Crude diademed bust right, prominent lips, pelleted wreath ties behind, serpent before coiled in figure-of-eight.
Rev: Two birds, possibly eagles, right, one in foreground with splayed feet and three tail feathers. Coiled serpent before
Weight: 0.57g; Ø:11.5 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 20-10 (N). acq.: 10-2023

Coin 2 (upper right): AR Sceatta (Series J, type 36 (var)), minted: Anglia; 710-760
Obv: Crude diademed bust right, prominent lips, pelleted wreath ties behind, serpent before coiled in figure-of-eight.
Rev: Two birds, possibly eagles, right, one in foreground with splayed feet and three tail feathers. Coiled serpent before
Weight: 0.92g; Ø:12.1 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 20-40 (PU). acq.: 10-2023

Coin 3 (second row left): 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: 0.84g; Ø:11 mm. Catalogue: SL 19-30. Provenance: Ex Heritage Auctions Europe, 20-11-2020, lot 11369; acq.: 11-2020

Coin 4 (second row right): 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: 0.93g; Ø:12.2 mm. Catalogue: SL 19-30. acq.: 07-2023

Coin 5 (third row left): 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: 0.89g; Ø:12.1 mm. Catalogue: SL 19-30. acq.: 10-2023

Coin 6 (third row right): AR Sceatta (Series J, type 60), minted: Anglia; 710-760
Obv: Crude diademed head right, crescent ear, pellet lips protruding or receding, braided hair.
Rev: Crude diademed head right, crescent ear, pellet lips protruding or receding, braided hair.
Weight: 0.62g; Ø:11.9 mm. Catalogue: Abramson 18-10 (ER). acq.: 10-2023

Coin 7 (fourth row left): AR Sceatta (Series J, type 72), minted: Northumbria (probably York); 710-725
Obv: Two crude diademed busts facing one another; cruciform trident between 
Rev: Fantastic bird (eagle?) right, looking left, encircled by gaping, serpent-headed, worm with open mouth and beaded body
Weight: 0.85g; Ø:13.0x10.8 mm. Catalogue: SL 19-10. 

Coin 8 (fourth row right) 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:10.8 mm. Catalogue: SL 18-20 (c). Provenance: Ex iNumis (shop, 27-04-2021)
Ex iNumis (Auction 42, lot 191, 05.06.2018)
Ex Gallery 51 (May auction, lot 185, 30.05.2014),; acq.: 04-2021

Coin 9 (lowest) 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: 0.88g; Ø:11.6 mm. Catalogue: SL 18-20 (c). acq.: 07-2022
 

#1 Madelinus of Dorestad.

I bought my third Frisian tremissis in 2023 – an iconic and much sought after tremissis of Madelinus. I have posted a detailed write-up of this Merovingian moneyer here. In short, Madelinus first minted his coins in the Merovingian city Maastricht (the very historic capital of the Dutch province Limburg), and then moved to Dorestatvs: Dorestad or Wijk bij Duurstede a thriving trade city on the border of the Merovingian and Frisian empire. Madelinus’ coins were widely imitated, so called ‘pseudo-madelinus’ as is this coin.

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EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: AV Tremissis (Pseudo-MADELINUS (Frisian immitative) type), minted: Frisia; 630-650 AD
Obv: Degraded diademed bust right, with pointy nose and pellet lips. ∇°REഗTɅT FIT (DORESTAT FIT; Delta D, upper-case o, sideway rotated S, unbarred A). Three pellets between R and E
Rev: MɅ∇ELINVS M (MADELINVS M; unbarred A, delta D), cross on single step, six equidistant pellets below.
Weight: 1.26g; Ø:15 mm. Catalogue: . Provenance: Ex. Elsen auction 130 (10-09-2016), lot nr. 291 (unsold)
Ex. Hollandia Numismatics 05-2023
Find location: Unknown Published: Included in Arent Pol's (unpublished) study on Madelinus tremisses.
The gold content of this coin was measured for Arent Pol's (unpublished) study on Madelinus tremisses, using specific gravity (gold content of 44%, assuming pure silver/gold alloy) and XRF (Bruker method, 69-70% gold content). Small abrasion on the obverse (at the cheek), apart from that, a superb example.

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Congratulation on a great year.  Selective, discriminating, and constructed over a foundation of scholarly interest;  these are the makings of an outstanding collection.  I picked up one sceatta this past year.  He did not make it into my top ten post for 2023, but I probably should have included him.  Purchased at the Bay State coin show last summer, apparently passed through the hands of Heritage at some point, and previously discussed on Numis Forums.   

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Roerbakmix, Excellent presentation & great photos 🤩. I admit to knowing nothing about these coins, however, I'm automatically drawn to make a comparison of these coins to Celtic coins. Both rely on simple abstractions & symbolism that make an immediate impact on the viewer 🤔.

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