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GM23853

Viking Cunetti Penny, variety reading R.:.X for REX, patriarchal cross

Vikings of Northumbria, Kingdom of York (c.895-920), Cnut,silver Penny, Cunetti type, Patriarchal cross, letters in turn of CNVT at each cross terminal, R.: .:. .:X .:, alternating between, note omission of E, beaded outer border both sides,rev.cross pattée with two opposing pellets, Latin legend and beaded circles surrounding, +CVN.:.NET.:.TI., weight 1.38g (cf.BMC 963; N.501; S.993).Attractively toned with "cuerdale" colour, some light marks, almost extremely fine.

The majority of the surviving coins of the Cunetti types emanated from the largest hoard of Viking coins ever found in the British Isles, the Cuerdale Hoard, found on the banks of the River Ribble, near Preston Lancashire on 15th May 1840. Some workmen digging foundation for a new railway line stumbled across the vast hoard of some 7,000 coins and ingots of Viking hack silver. The hoard was declared treasure trove on 15th August 1840 and passed to Queen Victoria under the Duchy of Lancaster, whereupon they were examined at the British Museum. The majority of the hoard is still with the museum today but some 170 people were gifted coins at the time.

The exact reasons for deposit of the hoard circa 902, will never be known but the location of the find suggests deposit on the overland route to York from the west coast for travellers from Dublin. Though perhaps this was deposited after York had been sacked and the Vikings expelled from Dublin. It has been suggested by numismatic academics Stewart and Lyon that the reading CVNETTI is actually a Latinised rendering of Hunedeus a Viking leader who was powerful in York in seemingly a joint coinage with another of the name of CNVT.

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