Alexander III Penny

This is another find that came in from John Lashmar. It’ a Scottish penny of Alexander III, who, late at night, was killed when he rode his horse over a cliff. Lots of pennies of Alexander III are found in England but most are of the second coinage with REX SCOTORVM on the reverse. John’s specimen has a voided long cross on the reverse, so it was struck during the first coinage. On the obverse is a head facing right and the general style indicates it is a coin of class VII. On the reverse the legends reads IOH AN ON PER, so Iohan is the moneyer and Perth the mint.

Brussels Hoard

n Brussels in 1908 workmen demolishing a very old tavern discovered a huge hoard of penny-sized hammered silver coins. The hoard was made up of around 64,000 Continental coins, together with over 80,000 English, Scottish and Irish. Just imagine how large the pile must have been! Arrangements were made to sell the coins by auction in two massive lots, the Continental coins in one lot and all the rest in the other.

The story goes that the day before the auction was to be held in October of 1909, when some potential buyers wanted to cross the English Channel to attend the sale, the weather was so bad that ships could not put to sea. However, Albert Baldwin (of A. H. Baldwin & Sons, the London-based coin dealers) had arrived two days before the auction, when the weather was good.

At the auction Albert Baldwin bought the lot containing all the English, Scottish and Irish coins for £9,000, which works out at 11p per coin. Some were sold to collectors and it is said that some of the poorer coins were melted down to pay the wages of Baldwin’s staff in the 1920s. Nevertheless, in the 1950s the company still had around 55,000 of the Brussels’ hoard coins in stock. Before any of the Scottish coins were sold Albert Baldwin took advantage of a unique opportunity to sort them out into mints, moneyers and types; the information gained was of great and lasting importance.

Valuation

The coin is in Fine condition but the flan is dark in colour and this might put off some of the most discerning collectors. However, I’d still say it should be worth £60-80.

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