Irish Coin Daily: Silver Penny (Phase I, Class F – Pointed Helmet type) in the name of Anlaf Sihtricsson


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Date: c. 1029-1034

Hiberno-Norse Coinage. Anlaf V (ca. 1029-1034). ‘Cnut-style’ Penny. struck likely at Dublin, moneyer: Oda (?) Draped bust l. breaking circle, wearing pointed helmet and holding scepter; +∧NLF +CVIN-E (the ‘N’ retrograde), rev. Central double circle enclosing pellet, which intersects a voided and a jeweled cross within a circle; +OD∧:ON (the ‘N’ retrograde) DNLNVF

Description:

Anlaf V (c. 1029-1034). ‘Cnut-style’ Penny. struck likely at Dublin, moneyer: Oda (?). This coin is the only known example in Anlaf’s name and is one of the greatest rarities in Irish, Viking and Anglo-Saxon numismatics. Unlisted in North and Spink. Cf.Roth BNJ vol. 6 (1909), p.55.

  • Bold strike on a full flan, toned a handsome light gray. Unique. NGC MS 61.

Obverse:

  • Draped bust facing left, breaking circle, wearing pointed helmet and holding scepter
  • +∧NLF +CVIN-E (the ‘N’ retrograde)

Reverse:

  • Central double circle enclosing pellet, which intersects a voided and a jeweled cross within a circle
  • +OD∧:ON (the ‘N’ retrograde) DNLNVF

Country:

  • Ireland ?

Category:

  • Hiberno-Norse
    • Phase I
    • Class F (Pointed Helmet issue)
      • Mint = Dublin, or by one Cnut’s moneyers at Lincoln ?
      • Moneyer = Ada
  • Hammered

Additional Information:

  • Anlaf V is apparently Olaf Sigtryggsson (Amláib mac Sitriuc), son of Sihtric Silkenbeard.
    • His wife is said to have been Sláine, daughter of Brian Boru, King of Munster and High King of Ireland.
    • In 1029, he was taken prisoner by the Lord of Brega and ransomed for the lofty sum of over 1200 cows, 140 British horses, 60 ounces of gold and silver, the “Sword of Carlus” and the Irish hostages of Leinster and Leath Cuinn, “four hostages to Ua Riagain as a security for peace, and the full value of the life of the third hostage.”
      • An additional 80 cows “for word and supplication” were added to the total, to be paid to the man who entreated for Amlaíb’s release.
  • Sihtric went on pilgrimage to Rome in 1028 and Anlaf may have ruled Dublin while his father was away
    • In 1030, Sihtric allied with the King of England, Cnut, and together their fleets raided Wales. A Dublin colony was established in Gwynedd.
      • This coin, being an imitation of the Pointed Helmet issue of Cnut, might date from this period.
      • Could Anlaf V have issued coins for this Hiberno-Norse colony in Wales?
      • Could the Moneyer Ada have been working in Dublin?
      • Or, were the dies produced by Ada at one of Cnut’s mints?
        • ADA (Quatrefoil type) at Cambridge ?
        • ADA (Short Cross type) at Huntingdon ?
        • ADA (Pointed Helmet type) at Lincoln ?
  • According to the early 17th century “Annals of the Four Masters” (Annála na gCeithre Máistrí), Olaf (Anlaf) “was slain by Saxons on his way on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1034.”
    • He was survived by a daughter, Ragnhild, mother of Gruffydd ap Cynan, progenitor of the Kings of Gwynedd in Wales.

 


Further Reading:

 

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