Rare Oxford coin goes under the hammer

Nov 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: Club News

A rare coin made in Oxford in or around 1066 – the year of the Battle of Hastings – is set to fetch up to £1,500 at an auction next month.

The 1,000 year-old silver penny was made in Oxford by a so-called moneyer named Aelfwig during the 10-month reign (January 5,1066, to October 14 1066) of King Harold II. Harold was killed after being shot in the eye with an arrow at the Battle of Hastings, which was won by William The Conqueror on October 14,1066, and which is recorded on the Bayeux Tapestry.

Richard Bishop, head of the coins department at Spink in London, says the Oxford penny is “super rare.” In fact, it is so rare that only seven other Harold II pennies from Oxford are known to have survived. Some of these are now owned by museums – including three at the Ashmolean, in Oxford .

Only a handful are in private hands.

Mr Bishop said: “Harold II pennies are very collectable because of the shortness of the reign.

“Oxford pennies from this reign are very difficult to find, so we will have a lot of strong bidding for this coin.”

The Oxford penny coming up for sale at Spink in Bloomsbury, London, on December 2, was found in the ground, but where, how and by whom is not known.

But even though it was buried for nearly a 1,000 years, the coin is described as being in “good, very fine condition.” The coin features the tell-tale letters “OXEN” and also features an image of King Harold, with a sceptre.

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