Irish Coin Daily: Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny (Phase I, Class B – Long Cross type) in the name of Sihtric (FAEREMIN)


The Irish Coin Cabinet - a daily magazine featuring just 'best of breed' example of Irish numismatics per day. It will eventually accumulate into one of the finest archives of Irish coins in the world

Date: c. 1000-1010

Hiberno-Norse. Sihtric III Olafsson. Circa 995-1036. AR Penny (20mm, 1.47 g, 4h). Phase I coinage, Long Cross type. Difelin (Dublin) mint; Færeman, moneyer. Struck circa 1000-1010. Draped bust left; pellet to right / + FÆ REM N M(dart)Θ DYFLI, voided long cross, with pellet at center and triple-crescent ends; pellet in each central crescent. Cf. O'S 6; SCBI 8 (BM), 21 var. (rev. legend); SCBI 32 (Ulster), 19-20; SCBC 6103. EF, lightly toned, slight bow to flan

Description:

Hiberno-Norse. Sihtric III Olafsson. Circa 995-1036. AR Penny (20mm, 1.47 g, 4h). Phase I Class B coinage (Long Cross type). Cf. O’S 6; SCBI 8 (BM), 21 var. SCBI 32 (Ulster), 19-20; SCBC 6103.

  • Extremely Fine (EF)
  • Lightly toned, slight bow to flan

Obverse:

  • Draped bust left; pellet to right
Hiberno-Norse obverse legend - + SIHTRCRE + DYFLMI

Hiberno-Norse obverse legend – + SIHTRCRE + DYFLMI

Reverse:

  • voided long cross, with pellet at center and triple-crescent ends; pellet in each central crescent.
Hiberno-Norse reverse legend + FAEREM MNO DYFLI

Hiberno-Norse reverse legend + FAEREM MNO DYFLI

Moneyer’s name translates as “FAEREMIN OF DUBLIN”


 

Additional Information:

The British numismatist Michael Dolley classified Hiberno-Norse coins into seven distinct “phases”, covering a period of over 150 years.

About the year 995, Sihtric III “Silkbeard”, (also spelled Sitrick, Sigtrygg, Sitriuc and many other variants) King of Dublin, issued silver pennies that closely imitated the contemporary Anglo-Saxon coins of English King Aethelred II.

  • Some of Sihtric’s coins bear his own name, and spell out the name of Dublin (“DYFLIN,”); others simply copy the names of Aethelred and various English mints and moneyers.
  • These were the first coins struck in Ireland
    • The reason for issuing them was probably both
      • practical (to pay mercenaries)
      • symbolic (to enhance the king’s prestige by displaying his wealth and power)

Phase I coinage lasted 20-25 years, and went through several design changes.

  • The most common type imitates Aethelred’s “Long Cross” issue, bearing an obverse image of a bare-headed king draped in a cloak. The “voided cross” reverse could serve as a guide for cutting the coin into halves or quarters, since no smaller denominations were struck.
    • Class A          996-1001         Crux issue (King Aethelred II)
    • Class B        1002-1008         Long Cross issue (King Aethelred II)
    • Class C        1009-1011          Helmet issue (King Aethelred II)
    • Class D        1011-1016          Small Cross issue (King Aethelred II)
    • Class E        1016-1018          Quatrefoil issue (King Cnut)
    • Class F        1024-1030          Pointed Helmet issue (King Cnut) in the name of Sihtric – none known
    • Class ?        1024-1030          Pointed Helmet issue (King Cnut) in the name of Anlaf Sihtricsson – one ‘unique’ piece recently found

Further Reading:

 

 

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