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GM27964

Alfred the Great Penny, Lunettes type, Canterbury, Liabinc

Regular price £8,500
Regular price Sale price £8,500

Kings of Wessex, Alfred the Great (871-899), silver Penny, first coinage (871-875), Lunettes coinage type A (Variant IA), Canterbury mint, moneyer Liabinc, diademed and draped bust right to edge of coin, head within inner circle, legend and outer beaded border surrounding, legend commences at left, + AELBRED: REX, rev. legend in three lines, upper and lower lines within lunettes, .MON. / +LEAB :. / .ETA., beaded outer border surrounding, weight 1.14g (Lyons & Mackay type A Variant IA dies A/a, AfL 1.91-1.93; North 625; S.1057). Toned, raised die flaw on obverse, tiny verdigris deposit to reverse, other light surface marks, struck on a full flan, a bold very fine.

This coin is the fifth example to add to Lyons and Mackay's finds of the moneyer Liabinc's mintage.

The Lunettes coinage has its roots in Mercia, only adopted by Wessex, under Æthelred I, around 866. The decision to adopt the Lunettes style is key as it helps create a single design for all coins south of the Humber, setting the English on a path towards one uniform coinage.
The coinage was plentiful, circulating in both English and Danish-controlled areas, with an estimated 1-2 million pieces produced under Alfred. There are four different Lunettes types of reverses, of which this coin represents type A, the "Wessex" style, having been minted at Canterbury.

For further reading about the Lunettes series, see Lyons and Mackay's 2008 article in the British Numismatic Journal, volume 78, p38-110, also at this link https://www.britnumsoc.org/publications/Digital%20BNJ/pdfs/2008_BNJ_78_4.pdf

Provenance:
Found at Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, January 2022.
Ex. Classical Numismatic Group, Auction 121, 6th October 2022, lot 1258.

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