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GM24232

Canute Penny, Short cross type, Warminster Mint, Moneyer Winegod

Regular price £6,250
Regular price Sale price £6,250

Canute (1016-35),silver short cross Penny (1029-35), Warminster Mint, Moneyer Winegod, diademed bust left with sceptre, legend surrounding commencing at top, CNV T RE.CX,rev.pellet in annulet at centre of voided short cross, linear circles and legend surrounding, +PINEG ON POR:, weight 1.12g (SCBI Copenhagen 15:4212; BMC type XVI; N.790; S.1159).Toned on small rim crimp, otherwise good very fine and extremely rare, one of only three examples in private hands of this moneyer, mint and type, another four are in museum collections.

The legends translate as "Canute King" on obverse and on the reverse "Winegod of Warminster."

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. Warminster operated with only two moneyers in this reign through two types. There are two known of the helmet type of this moneyer both in museum collections and one other short cross Penny of moneyer Brihtric only known from one example also in a museum collection. Warminster Mint started operation in the long cross type of Aethelred II under moneyer Aelfwold, continuing into last small cross under moneyer Godwine. There are also Warminster coins of Harold I's jewel cross type under moneyer Wulfstan and also for the same moneyer in Edward the Confessor small flan type.

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.

Situated in Wiltshire on the uplands of Salisbury Plain nearly 15 miles from Bath, the town of Warminster was a Royal manor and had minting activity from the reign of Aethelred II until Edward the Confessor.

Provenance:

Found in the Bristol area 2013 - EMC 2013.0061.

Ex Dix Noonan and Webb, Auction 191, 4th May 2021, lot 172.

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

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