Anglo-Saxon penny of King Offa
The delightful Anglo-Saxon penny featured here is a coin of King Offa of Mercia, of which there are numerous types and varieties. This one has on the obverse M +OFFA REX in three lines divided by beaded bars. On the reverse is the moneyer’s name VVI ИOD (Winoth) in two lines separated by a bone-like device. The reference number in the Standard Catalogue is 908.
The standard numismatic reference work (published 2010) on the reign of Offa is The Coinage of Offa and his Contemporaries by Derek Chick (edited by Mark Blackburn and Rory Naismith) The coin shown here is listed by Chick as type 214 and in the year 2010 twelve specimens were on record.
Go back 40 years and all the various types of pennies of Offa were very or extremely rare. Over the intervening period many more examples have been found and a steady stream of them has come onto the market. Those that are defective in some way can be difficult to sell, as most collectors focus now on the state of preservation rather than on rarity. Today a reasonably decent specimen can be bought for a few hundred pounds.
However, the one pictured here isn’t just ‘decent’, it is one of the finest extant specimens of Chick type 214. The flan looks to be slightly uneven but the coin is otherwise in good VF to near EF condition.
A pre-sale auction estimate shouldn’t be any less than £3,000-£4000.