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GM24217

Canute Penny, Quatrefoil type, Ipswich Mint, Moneyer Edric

Regular price £800
Regular price Sale price £800

Canute (1016-35), silver Penny, quatrefoil type (c.1017-23), Ipswich Mint, Moneyer Edric, crowned and draped bust left within quatrefoil, legend and outer beaded border surrounding, legend surrounding commences at top, +CNVT REX ANGLORX, last two letter ligatured, rev. pellet at centre of voided long cross, over quatrefoil with pellet cusps, legend and outer beaded border surrounding, +ED RIC MΩO GIP, weight 1.03g (SCBI Copenhagen 13:985; BMC type VIII; Sadler II, plate 124, fig. 440 this coin; N.781; S.1157). Attractive dark tone, one small rim chip, otherwise extremely fine, a popular East Anglian mint.

The obverse legend translates as "Canute King of the English" and the reverse as "Edric Moneyer of Ipswich."

Despite Canute being essentially a Viking King from overseas, the coinages of England continued in a similar vein to those of Aethelred II, in that the types changed every six years, meaning there are three main types for this reign, of which the quatrefoil type was the first. According to North there were up to 74 mints in operation with perhaps four other enigmatic places that remain uncertain. Ipswich operated with up to sixteen moneyers in this reign through four types, which is about seven times less than London for instance and twelve less than the regional monetary center of Thetford in East Anglia.

This Quatrefoil type coin is struck from the regional die cutting centre of Thetford of type A late style, as defined by Mark Blackburn and Stewart Lyon in their article "Regional Die-Production in Cnut's Quatrefoil Issue" a chapter in "Anglo-Saxon Monetary History" edited by M. A. D. Blackburn published 1986.

Canute could have been as young as 21 when he ascended the English throne after the 28th November 1016 upon the death of Edmund "Ironside" at Oxford. Though Edmund son of Aethelred II had a younger brother and two infant sons his advisers recognized Canute as successor. Though his birth date is not known, Canute was a commander in his Father's army from 1012, and at first had to settle a number of uprisings amongst the nobility and others, which he quelled by maintaining a large army and navy from heavy taxation. He kept Wessex at first for himself whilst dividing up other areas for regional government under trusted Danish allies. Canute had married Aelfgifu daughter of Ealdorman Aelfhelm of Northumbria, but set her aside to marry Aethelred's widow Emma in 1017 who had fled to Normandy, and this latter union helped maintain the political continuity and tradition of English Kingship. Harald of Denmark died childless in 1018 and Canute used his English troops and finance to extend power to Scandanvia making his infant son Harthacanute titular Governor and heir of Denmark. Canute attempted to invade Sweden, and actually took Norway in 1028 having had a pilgrimage to Rome the year before. Canute left his eldest son by Aelfgifu, Swein to rule Norway and was now the most powerful King of England ever at this time and is likely when the apocryphal story of him trying to vainly order the coastal tide to turn and retreat in front of his courtiers emerged. However, Norway was lost by 1034, Canute did not respond, and he passed away suddenly at Shaftesbury in his mid-forties on the 12th November 1035.

Nearly 70 miles north-east of London, Ipswich is a town and sea-port on the River Orwell. The Danes came and ravaged Ipswich in 991 and again in 1010, and they subsequently disembarked there in 1069 but were driven away. Minting activity occurs from the reign of Edgar until King John and there is a die link with the still mysterious mint of DERNT issued only under Edward the Confessor.

Provenance:

Ex Captain Peter Arnot, Dix Noonan and Webb, 21st March 1995, lot 192.

Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, November 1995, item 6175.

Purchased from Spink and Son Ltd, 24th January 2001.

Ex Neil Smith Collection, New York Sale XLIX, 15th January 2020, lot 1227.

Ex Collection of an English Doctor part II, Sovereign Rarities fixed price list online May 2022.

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