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FM18302

Canute Quatrefoil Penny Godeleof of Stamford with capsule shape gouge reverse

Canute (1016-35),silver quatrefoil Penny (c.1017-25), Stamford Mint, Moneyer Godleof, variety with bar-like oval pellet in upper right quarter angle, crowned and draped bust left within quatrefoil, legend surrounding commences at bottom, +CNVT REX ANGLORV,rev.pellet at centre of voided long cross, over quatrefoil with pellet cusps, second upper right quarter with large oval pellet, legend surrounding, +GO DELE OF M. O ST., weight 0.83g (Wells 32; N.785; S.1157).Toned and struck from an older reverse die as it demonstrates raised spots from die rust; the large pellet seemingly added to a used pair of dies, a bold very fine, a very interesting variety of the highest rarity with only one example recorded in the relevant articles.

The legends translate as "Canute King of the English" on obverse and on the reverse "Godleof of Stamford."

The late W. C. Wells wrote one of the more definitive articles on the Stamford Mint over a series of parts published in the British Numismatic Journal some eighty years ago. The third part covered the reign of King Canute, British Numismatic Journal volume 24 published 1942. At that time there were three Moneyers recorded working at Stamford who produced coins with similar pellet bars in either the second or fourth quarter, Cawelin - number 23, Godele number 32 and Swertbrand numbers 72, 73 and 74, the last two having the pellet in fourth quarter.

Writing more recently, and since the Cambridge Hoard came to the numismatic market-place circa 1993-96, in the British Numismatic Journal 2000, Robin Eaglen and Robert Grayburn, in their article "Gouged Reverse Dies in the Quatrefoil Issue of Cnut" record the fact that 13 of the 19 Stamford Mint moneyers are now recorded as having produced a gouged die reverse Penny. The moneyer Godeleof is shown in their table 1 with only one example known of the gouged reverse die. They suggest that this practise perhaps originated at Stamford as gouging starts in the last coinage of Aethelred II at Stamford and is the most prolific in existence of gouged die reverses and Godeleof was a moneyer in this reign too. The moneyers Cawelin and Godwine account for some 60% of the known examples of such coins.

Furthermore, only six other Mints record the gouged reverse die phenomenon, Bedford, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Leicester, Northampton and Rochester. Though these mints consist of 41 moneyers, only 11 of these moneyers produced gouged die coins from 16 different dies, with Rochester being the outlier from the others which are all within a 42-mile radius geographically. All the known quatrefoil type coins with gouged die are of the Stamford A or B styles as defined by Blackburn and Lyon intheir article "Regional Die-Production in Cnut's Quatrefoil Issue"showing that Stamford was the die cutting centre responsible for these dies; even the Rochester coin where it is theorised that the moneyer may have visited Stamford on a trip with the Bishop of Rochester.

The reason for this pellet bar which is defined as being of the "capsule" formation being added remains unknown, and the conclusions reached by Eaglen and Grayburn could only suggest as propositions that all gouged dies were produced at Stamford in haste and possibly in reaction to the Geld of 1018. They remain an intriguing numismatic enigma of the Stamford Mint series.

Godeleof as a moneyer who appears at the Huntingdon Mint in this reign with a gouged die reverse.

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