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The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 27, July 4, 2010, Article 25

SPINK SELLS FIRST GOLD COIN STRUCK IN THE NAME OF AN ENGLISH KING

At my request Emily Johnston of Spink in London forwarded an image of a gold Shilling of King Eadbald of Kent. Accompanying the image below is a copy of the pre-sale press release about the coin, which sold for £30,000. -Editor

King Eadbald Gold Shilling

Spink is very pleased to announce the sale of an Anglo-Saxon gold Shilling of King Eadbald of Kent dating from c.620-635. This is the first gold coin struck in the name of an English King and a rare and important piece of English history. Found near Deal Kent in 2010, this coin will be sold at auction on June 24th and is expected to fetch upwards of £8,000.

This type of coin was long known to be amongst the earliest of Anglo-Saxon gold coins with a single example present in the important Crondall hoard found in Hampshire in 1828 which was hidden c.670. However, the conclusive attribution of these coins to King Eadbald of Kent, who reigned from 616 to 640, was only made in 1998.

On the obverse “avdvarld reges” is written and is translated as 'of King Audvarld'. The name 'auduarldus' appears in Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica completed in 731 in which he wrote about king Eadbald of Kent. The reverse inscription is a corruption of the word londenv indicating London as the mint or die source for this coin.

The real significance of these coins though is in the obverse inscription which names the historical figure of king Eadbald. This is exceptional for a coin of this period and is only certainly found again at the end of the seventh century with the silver coins of Aldfrith of Northumbria (685-705). As such the Eadbald gold Shilling is the earliest coin issued in the name of an English king.

Only six coins of this type are recorded. Of these, five are kept in institutional collections. Therefore, this will be only the second specimen available for private collectors to purchase.

To visit the Spink web site, see: www.spink.com

Wayne Homren, Editor

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