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GM25812

Canute Penny, short cross type, Dorchester Mint, moneyer Swet, Ex Lockett and Elmore

Regular price £2,750
Regular price Sale price £2,750

Canute (1016-35),silver short cross Penny (1029-35), Dorchester Mint, Moneyer Swet, diademed bust left with sceptre, legend surrounding commences at upper left, CNVT RECX:,rev.pellet in annulet at centre of voided short cross, linear circles and legend surrounding, +SPET ON DORCE, weight 1.22g (SCBI Polish 37:267; BMC type XVI p.247; N.790; S.1159).Toned, flan a little undulating, some light marks, a well centred coin without pecks, a bold to good very fine, extremely rare with a good provenance.

The legends translate as "Canute King" on obverse and on the reverse "Swet of Dorchester."

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 only four different moneyers working at Dorchester in his reign through three 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.

Situated in Dorset on the River From some six miles north of Weymouth, a Royal house was in use here at the time of Aethelstan, with a castle later on in the 12-13thCenturies. Minting activity occurs from the reign of Aethelred II to Baronial civil unrest in the time of King Stephen and there is a die link with Warminster in the reign of Edward the Confessor.

Provenance:

Ex Richard Cyril Lockett, English part I, 6th June 1955, lot 742 part.

Ex F. Elmore-Jones, Glendining, 12-13th May 1971, lot 252 sold for £105.

Ex Brian H. Grover, dealer based in Surrey, 1983 purchased by Baldwin

Ex A. H. Baldwin and Sons vault stock.

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