Irish Coin Daily: Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny (Phase I, Class D – Small Cross Type) in the name of Sihtric


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. 1011-1016

Hiberno-Norse. Phase I (c.995-1020), Class D Penny in the name of Sihtric Anlafsson c.1010-16, Dublin mint, S-6117, DF-18, MS63 PCGS. + SIHTRY REX DYFLNIIΘ, bust left / + SIHLΘDIL MII GIHLI, short cross. An imitation of Æthelred's last small cross coinage, this example is exceptional in its strike and surfaces. The legends, although difficult, are legible and the portrait is excellent. The flan is of good metal without cracks or flaws, exhibits upturned rims + one small peckmark on the reverse. Rare.

Description:

Hiberno-Norse. Phase I (c.995-1020) Penny in the name of Sihtric Anlafsson c.1010-16, Dublin mint, S-6117, DF-18, MS63 PCGS. An imitation of Æthelred’s last small cross coinage, this example is exceptional in its strike and surfaces. The legends, although difficult, are legible and the portrait is excellent. The flan is of good metal without cracks or flaws, exhibits upturned rims + one small peckmark on the reverse.

  • Uncirculated (Unc)
  • Rare

Obverse:

  • Bust left

Hiberno-Norse obverse legend - + SIHTRY REX DYFLNIIO

(legend translates as “Sihtric, King of Dublin”)

Reverse:

  • Small cross

Hiberno-Norse reverse legend + SIHLODIL MII GIHLI

(legend translates as Moneyer = “? of Dublin”)

Country:

  • Ireland

Category:

  • Hiberno-Norse
    • Phase I
    • Class D (Small Cross issue)
      • Mint = Dublin
      • Moneyer = ?
  • Hammered

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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