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HM32919

Alfred the Great Penny, portrait type, London Mint, Tilewine moneyer

Regular price £25,000
Regular price Sale price £25,000

Alfred the Great (871-899),silver Penny, portrait type, third coinage (c. 880-899), London Mint, moneyer Tilewine, diademed portrait facing right, wearing tunic made up of curved lines with pellets, legend and outer beaded circle at rim surrounding, legend commences at lower left with saltire dividing King's name, ÆLFR ED REx,rev. small wide Londonia Monogram across centre, cross pattée either side, signature above and below in two lines, TILEVI+ /NE MON, the NE ligatured, the O with pellet centre and four tiny pellets surrounding, outer beaded circle surrounding, weight 1.61g (Mackay London B3 5, O3/R4 No.2; SCBI Ashmolean 9:249; N.646 VR; S.1062).Dark tone with some old deposit, round patch at L of legend with some light scratches on cheek, a little weak at centre of reverse, with raised die striations on the reverse fields and a small area of scratches at lower right, good very fine and a pleasing example with an excellent provenance.

The portrait silver Penny with the monogram of Londonia on the reverse has always been the most desirable type coin of Alfred for any collector to attain in their collection. The example demonstrated here has the rarer smaller London monogram with moneyer name above and below. For further reference see "The London Monogram Coinage of Alfred the Great and the Danelaw" by William A. Mackay, British Numismatic Journal, volume 89, 2019, pages 19-107.

The obverse Latin legend translates as "Alfred King" on this superb portrait Penny which is coupled with the Londonia Monogram and "Tilewine Moneyer" on the reverse.

Alfred the Great was the key monarchal figure in the survival of the Kingdom of Wessex at the time of the Viking invasions and for that reason is seen by some as the first King of Anglo Saxon England. Born c. 848 he was perhaps 23 by the time he ascended the throne of Wessex in April 871, after Viking invasions were responsible for the death of Aethelred I. Various skirmishes and battles with the Vikings followed across Wessex in succeeding years where the legend of Alfred burning the poor cottager's cakes and accepting her subsequent scolding stems from, whilst he was travelling incognito. Victories followed and by 878 after a division of the country with Guthrum the Dane, Alfred was set up the fortified town "burgh" system across Wessex. By 886 he had finally taken and fortified the Capital City of London, from whence such a coin as we have offered here would have been struck. Alfred also commissioned the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and is portrayed as one of the most significant rulers of the time. He died on the 26thOctober 899 aged c. 52.

Provenance:

Ex Thomas Bliss, Sotheby, 22ndMarch 1916, lot 81 and illustrated on plate III, sold for £7.

Ex Alexander Mann, Sotheby, 29thOctober 1917, lot 153 and illustrated on plate III, sold for £6/5/-

Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, April 1927, item 67009, illustrated and offered at £8/10-

Ex Albert Edward Bagnall, portion of collection likely sold to Spink 1964.

Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, June 1975, item 5490, illustrated, graded almost EF and offered at £1,500.

Ex Spink & Son, Coin auction 75, 29thMarch 1990, lot 233 illustrated plate 15, graded good VF - the Gantz provenance given has proven to be in error.

Ex Dix Noonan and Webb, Auction 95, 17thNovember 2011, lot 4, graded nearly EF.

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