- Museum number
Silver coin. (whole)
Small cross pattée within inner circle. Inscription round the outside. (obverse)
Inscription in two lines with a pellet in between. (reverse)
Diameter: 21 millimetres
Weight: 1.419 grammes
- Curator's comments
- Graham-Campbell 1980
Presented by H.M. Queen Victoria ex Cuerdale, Lancashire, England hoard found in 1840 and deposited c.903 A.D.
Die axis: ↓
Athelstan was the name given at baptism in 878 to Guthrum, the most formidable of Alfred's Danish opponents. After nearly annihilating the West Saxon kingdom early in that year his army was defeated by Alfred at Edington and under the peace terms arranged shortly afterwards Guthrum became a Christian and agreed to leave Wessex. He then turned his attention eastwards and won for himself an extensive kingdom comprising all of East Anglia, Essex and parts of the south and east Midlands. He later supported renewed Danish attacks on West Saxon territory but was again forced to make peace following Alfred's occupation of London in 886. His death is recorded in 890.
Guthrum's coinage is probably to be associated with the latter part of his reign. The design is closely based on that of Alfred, even to the extent of sacrificing several letters of the king's name and title in order to force it into the mould of four groups of letters devised for the shorter name of the West Saxon king. The coinages of Alfred and Guthrum also share several moneyers and even, in one case, a reverse die. This has led to the association of Guthrum's coinage with a mint at London, but it is possible that some, at least, of his coins were produced in East Anglia itself. There are other coins bearing Alfred's name whose devolved style has led to their attribution to the Danes.
Literature: Blunt, C. E (1952): A die-identity between a coin of Alfred and one of Aethelstan II of East Anglia, 'British Numismatic Journal', xxvii, 1, 56-7; Dolley, R. H. M. and Blunt, C. E. (1961): The chronology of the coins of Aelfred the Great 871-99, in R. H. M. Dolley (ed.) 'Anglo-Saxon Coins', London, 84-5.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2019, 16 Feb-8 Sep, Norwich Castle Museum, Viking: Rediscover the Legend
2018, 31 Mar-8 Jul, Southport, The Atkinson, Viking: Rediscover the Legend
2017-2018 24 Nov-4 Mar, Nottingham, University of Nottingham Museum, Viking: Rediscover the Legend
2017 19 May–5 Nov, York, Yorkshire Museum, Viking: Rediscover the Legend
2014-2015 Jul-Jan, Berlin, Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Vikings
2014 6 Mar-22 Jun, London, British Museum, Vikings
2013, 22 Jun-17 Nov, Denmark, Copenhagen, Nationalmuseet Danmark, Vikings
2008 14 Dec-2009 12 Jul, Germany, Speyer, Historisches Museum der Pfalz, The Vikings
- Acquisition date
- Coins and Medals
- Registration number
- C&M catalogue number
BA1 (BMC Anglo-Saxon 1) (96) (102)