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GM25814

Harold I Penny, fleur de lis type, retrograde reverse, Shaftesbury Mint, Aegelric

Regular price £9,500
Regular price Sale price £9,500

Harold I (1035-40),silver Penny, fleur de lis type (c.1038-40), Shaftesbury Mint, moneyer Aegelric, with retrograde reverse legend, diademed bust left with sceptre, legend and toothed border surrounding, commencing at top, +HARO .LD RX,rev.pellet at centre of voided long cross, pellet topped fleur de lis between pellets in each angle, retrograde legend and toothed border surrounding, in reverse +AG ELRI C ON S S CECT, weight 0.87g (SCBI -; Parsons -; N.803; S.1165). Toned struck from a rusty obverse die and most unusual to be coupled with a reverse in mirror image, this moneyer only recorded in Parsons and the sylloges series in the previous jewel cross type, very fine and of the highest rarity.

The abbreviated legends translate as on the obverse "King Harold" and on reverse the moneyer "Aegelric of Shaftesbury." Most unusual with the retrograde reverse.

According to North the Shaftesbury Mint operated with up to 3 moneyers in this reign.

Harold Harefoot was apparently the younger of two sons Canute had with Aelfgifu, before marrying the Emma the widow of Aethlered II and having Harthacanute by her. His older brother Swein was sent to rule Norway until being expelled in 1034 and pre-deceased his Father in Denmark at the end of the year. On Canute's death the men of Mercia and Northumbria therefore chose Harold as the next ruler. Meanwhile Queen Emma in Winchester with the King's bodyguard and treasure supported her son Harthacanute who was still in Denmark, as did Godwin of Wessex, and claims of illegitimacy towards Harold became rife. War was avoided by Harthacanute's absence, but did not bode well for his cause, his half-brother Alfred later attempting to visit his mother at Winchester, being treacherously captured at Guildford by Godwin and handed over to Harold, who had him fatally blinded and sent to perish in Ely. Wessex accepted Harold as King by 1037 and Emma fled to Normandy, and though watchful of invasion by Harthacanute nothing ever came, remaining peaceful until his death in his early twenties on 17thMarch 1040. He was nicknamed "Harefoot" on account of his sporting ability and was buried in Westminster. On arrival Harthacanute had him dug up and thrown in a marsh, but secretive supporters recovered his body and had him interred elsewhere in London.

Situated in Dorset nearly 25 miles north northwest of Dorchester on high ground, Shaftesbury is where Dunstan took the body of Edward the Martyr for interment after his death at Corfe Castle. Minting activity occurs from the reign of Aethelstan to King Stephen including a die link with the rare "BRYGIN" pieces.

Provenance:

Ex James Stevens-Cox Collection circa 1950s or before.

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