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GM24277

William I Penny, Two Sceptres / Two Stars type mule, Lincoln Mint, Sigaerith

Regular price £6,000
Regular price Sale price £6,000

William I (1066-87), silver Penny, mule of two sceptre type (1071-74?) and two stars type (1074-77?), Lincoln Mint, moneyer Sigaerith, facing crowned bust with sceptre each side above shoulder, all within linear circle, legend commences at top with outer beaded circle surrounding both sides, +PILEM REX ANG, rev. annulet at centre of cross bottonnée, over quadrilateral with incurved sides, +SIGIIERIÐ OII LIIIC, weight 1.29g (Mossop plate LXXXI, 1, 20; BMC type IV/V -/330; N.844/845; S.1253/1254). Toned, weak in parts, very fine and one of only two known examples of this extremely rare mule that was unknown at the time the British Museum Catalogue of Norman Kings was published.

The legends translate as "William, King of the English " and on the reverse "Siguerith of Lincoln"

North records up to 26 moneyers working at Lincoln in this reign in all types.

Mules of the two sceptres and two stars type are extremely rare as a numismatic phenomenon across all the mints of William I there are only two other occurrences first at the Hereford Mint under moneyer Aethelwine, of which two examples are on the Early Medieval Corpus and another at the Ipswich mint of moneyer Aegelbriht.

The only other known example of this mule offered herewith, is that recorded in "The Lincoln Mint c.890-1279" by H. R. Mossop where the plate referenced above can be found and this coin appears on the Early Medieval Corpus as 1027.0847.

Muling of dies can occur for a number of theoretical reasons but most likely boils down to availability of dies and a demand to strike coin, or perhaps an error in pairing dies at the time of die change, which occurred on a regular cyclical basis in the reign of William the Conquerer.

The City of Lincoln situated on the north bank of the River Witham some 33 miles north east of Nottingham was occupied by the Danes in 918 but the army there submitted to Edward the Elder and in 942 was one of the Five Boroughs. William I built a castle here in 1067 and the minster of St Mary was taken by Remigius of Dorchester as his cathedral in 1072. Later Rannulf the Earl of Chester and William de Roumare Earl of Loncoln, seized the castle to hold against King Stephen in 1140. The King besieged the castle and was captured in defeat at the Battle of Lincoln with the town sacked and burnt. The castle was later surrendered to Stephen by Rannulf who three years later granted it back to him.

Minting activity is thought to commence here with the "St Martin" coinage and then from Eadred to Henry III. In the middle of the reign of Henry I the signature of the Lincoln Mint changes to NICOLE until the end of Stephen's first type and in some later short cross coinage, this being a French name for the city seen in some mediaeval documents, with Lincolnia being the name in Latin.

Provenance:

Ex Lockdales Auction 175, 28th March 2020, lot 1534.

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

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