Irish Coin Daily: Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny (Phase I, Class A – CRUX Type) in the name of Sihtric (REOLECE)


Irish coin cabinet 7

Date: c. 996-1001

Hiberno-Norse Phase 1, Class A, Sihtric Silver CRUX Penny, Dublin mint, moneyer REOLECE. The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

Hiberno-Norse Phase I Silver Penny, Dublin mint, for Sihtric, King of Dublin with a Dublin mint signature (Moneyer: Reolece). An imitation of Aethelred II’s CRVX type.

  • Weight: 1.59 g
  • Diameter: 21 mm

References: (DF 1; S 6100).

Obverse legend blundered, otherwise an excellent example of this rare moneyer

  • Good Very Fine (gVF)
  • Extremely Rare

Obverse:

  • Draped bust, facing left, with sceptre left, linear circle and legend surrounding with outer beaded circle.
  • Legend: + ZITIR DI LIE FLI XO
    • (legend blundered but translates as “Sihtric, King of Dublin”)

Reverse:

  • Voided cross within linear circle, letters C R V X in each angle, legend surrounding
  • Legend: + REOLECEO DIFLME
    • (legend slightly blundered but translates as Moneyer = “Reolece of Dublin”)

Country:

  • Ireland

Category:

  • Hiberno-Norse
    • Phase I
    • Class A (Crux type)
      • Mint = Dublin
      • Moneyer = Reolece
  • 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 recently found !

Further Reading:

 

 

 

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