Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Anglo-Saxon Sceattas

silver early-medieval (Anglo-Saxon) porcupine sceat, 695-740 AD
Until October I had never found a Celtic or Anglo-Saxon coin. I now have a Celtic silver unit and two Anglo-Saxon Sceattas, all on Midweek Searchers digs in Hampshire. I have already written about the Celtic silver unit here:

The silver sceat was probably the first coin that was called a penny in common parlance. The name sceat has been used in recent times and means treasure or wealth. Silver coins entirely superseded gold by 675 AD but the silver content became debased by the early eighth century.There was a large variety of styles of sceattas, many being issued by Aethelbald of Mercia (reigned 716 - 757), in whose area my coins were found. They show wonderful artistry and craftsmanship.
[Coins of England & The United Kingdom, 44th edition, Spink 2009,Page 82]

The descriptions below are based on descriptions of similar coins on the PAS database (British Museum & National Museum Wales)
Sceat, probably Frisian, variant of Spink no. 839, series D  (Type 2c) c.680 -710

Obverse: Crude radiate bust right, runic inscription aepa (runic) in front (on right)
[a face turned to the right (large nose) with a crown]

Reverse: Cross with a pellet in each quarter, surrounded by angled lines and an annulet


A silver early-medieval (Anglo-Saxon) porcupine sceat, continental phase. 695-740 AD. Series E, variety G1

Obverse: quilled crescent right, pellet eyes on the side of an insect-like creature and pellets and linear device below.

Reverse: a beaded standard containing four lines with a pellet at one end, a central pellet in annulet; outside the standard, there are two parallel bars joined by a cross piece.

Cf Abramson's Series E, variety G1 (2006, p. 88, no. E215).

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