Irish Coin Daily: Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny (Phase I, Class C – HELMET Type) / Unknown Moneyer


Date: 1009-1011

Hiberno-Norse, Phase I, Class C

Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny (Phase I, Class C – Helmet Type) moneyer unknown

Imitation Penny in the name of Aethelred, Helmet type, very rare. (S.6115)

Obverse:

  • Armoured bust left with radiate helmet
  • Legend translates as: Sihtric of Dublin
  • Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny (Phase I, Class C – Helmet Type) Unknown moneyer obverse legend

Reverse:

  • Long cross voided, each limb terminating in three crescents over square with trefoil at each point
  • Legend translates as: King of Dublin
  • Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny (Phase I, Class C – Helmet Type) Unknown moneyer reverse legend

 

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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