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GM25809

Canute Penny, Quatrefoil type, Langport Mint, moneyer Godwine

Regular price £3,950
Regular price Sale price £3,950

Canute (1016-35), silver quatrefoil Penny (c.1017-25), Langport Mint, Moneyer Godwine, crowned and draped bust left within quatrefoil, legend surrounding commences at top, +CNVT REX ANGLOR, rev. pellet at centre of voided long cross, over quatrefoil with pellet cusps, legend surrounding, +GO DPIN E ON LAN, weight 0.77g (SCBI 13:1297 Copenhagen IIIa; N.781; S.1157). Toned with some peck marks both sides, weak in parts very fine and very rare.

The Latin legends translate as "Canute King of the English" on obverse and on the reverse "Godwine of Langport."

This coin is struck in the Bath type B style as defined by Mark Blackburn and Stewart Lyon in their article "Regional Die-Production in Cnut's Quatrefoil Issue."

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. North records 31 different moneyers working at Exeter in his reign through five types.

Canute could have been as young as 21 when he ascended the English throne after the 28thNovember 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 12thNovember 1035.

Langport is a Somerset mint town and was a Saxon borough at the time due to its hilltop defensive position as a "Burghal hidage" located some twelve miles east of Taunton on the River Parrett.

Provenance:

Ex Studio Coins, Winchester, October 2013 for £2,600.

Ex Dr John Hulett Collection, part II, Dix Noonan and Webb, Auction 143, 12th December 2017, lot 668.

Ex AMR Coins 2018.

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