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DM07957

William I bonnet type Penny Maint mint

William I (1066-87), silver Bonnet type Penny (1068-70?), "Maint" Mint, Moneyer Brihtwine, facing crowned and diademed bust with two fillets to edge of coin, Latin legend and beaded circles surrounding both sides, +PILLELMIII REX A, rev. pellet in annulet at centre of voided cross, terminals of pellet with crescent each sides, pellet topped piles in angle, Latin legend and beaded border surrounding, , +BRHTPI ON MAINT, weight 1.11g (BMC 130; SCBI 20:1359 this coin; N.842; S.1251). Toned weak in parts, with a good clear reverse reading for this extremely rare enigmatic Mint.

The Latin legends translate as "William King" on obverse and "Brihtwine of Maint" on the reverse.

This mysterious piece, one of only seven known examples, clearly reads "Maint" for the Mint name, which at that time interestingly in the Anglo-Norman French language translated as "Many."

What we do know is the obverse die has a link with a Thetford Mint coin (BMC type II, 146), therefore it is assumed that this piece is of Suffolk area origins. Could it have been a product of a travelling moneyer Brihtwine giving the place name as "Many" due to his transient nature?

George C Brooke briefly wrote about these Maint coins in his "notes on the Reign of William I" in the Numismatic Chronicle of 1911 (4th series volume 11), pages 268-290 where he talks about the sharing of dies that were linking between Mints. Maint is listed as uncertain, with the link to Thetford on page 278 and illustrated on plate XVII no.2. Brooke also dismisses the prior suggestions of other commentators, when writing in 1911 that Maint had anything to do with either Mainestune in Yorkshire, or Malmesbury in Wiltshire as they are too far distant from Suffolk.

Provenance:

Ex A H Baldwin and Sons Ltd, 1949.

Ex Wing Commander R P Mack, SCBI 20:1359.

Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, July 1982, item 5741 at £500.

Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, October 1992, item 5955 at £750.

Ex Allan Williams Collection, part IV, 29th January 2019, lot 634.

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