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Noonans sell Henry VIII half-sovereign and other finds

On 14 November 2023, Noonans held an auction of “COINS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS”. It included several recent detecting finds, including two rare pennies of Harold II, which were found in the last couple of years. One sold for twice the estimate whilst our featured lot failed to sell. The top seller of the recent detecting finds was Lot 220, a Half sovereign of Henry VIII.

To view any of my selected lots in the auction catalogue click on the lot number. The full catalogue can be found here.

There is a buyer’s premium of 24% (plus VAT) on the hammer price.

Featured lot

Photo: © Noonans

Norwich penny of Harold II

Mint: Norwich
Estimate: £4,000 – £5,000

This penny of Harold was found on 9 September 2023 near Attleborough, Norfolk and recorded at the EMC 2023.0366 as The legend on the reverse reads MANNA ON NOR, giving the moneyer as Man and the mint as Norwich.

The auctioneers provide some background as to how this coin has a more “fluid style” portrait than others of Harold’s coinage. In 1066, Harold enacted a mass recoinage where most of the currency was withdrawn and re-struck. Although, provincial mints were used, most of the dies, particularly in the south of England, were produced at a single centre, probably London. This provided consistency and control. Any illicit behaviour in minting coins was dealt with severely.

Therefore, Man the moneyer must have had a good reason to use a local “unofficial” die. One idea comes from the observation that these irregular coins only appear in hoards buried after the Norman conquest leading to the suggestion of that they “represent a posthumous issue in the name of Harold“.

Other detecting finds

Photo: © Noonans

Penny of Offa

Found near Meppershall, Bedfordshire in 2023 and recorded at the PAS as NARC-9D824A. The reverse has D U D, divided by four lobes, for the moneyer Dud.
Estimate: £1,200 – £1,500
Hammer: £1300
Photo: © Noonans

Harold II PAX type penny

Found near Peasenhall, Suffolk in 2021 and recorded at the EMC as 2021.0225. The reverse reads MANPINE IN DOVER giving the mint as Dover and a previously unknown moneyer. It is struck for the same obverse die as the Chew Valley hoard examples.
Estimate: £1,200 – £1,500
Hammer: £3200
Photo: © Noonans

Hereford penny of Stephen

Found in Devizes, Wiltshire in November 2017 and recorded at the EMC as 2017.0374. Reverse reads SIRER : O[ ] HERR.
Estimate: £800 – £1,000
Hammer: £1600
Photo: © Noonans

London groat of Richard III

Found near Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire in 2023 and recorded at the PAS as NARC-732B23.
Estimate: £1,500 – £2,000
Hammer: £1900
Photo: © Noonans

Henry VIII, Crown of the Double Rose

Found in 2019 near Berkley, Somerset and recorded at the PAS as SOM-AD0789.
Estimate: £2,400 – £3,000
Hammer: £3200
Photo: © Noonans

Half sovereign of Henry VIII

Found on 25 September 2016 near Owermoigne, Dorset. Recorded at the PAS as SUSS-8D9CDB where it was considered a Find of Note.
Estimate: £2,000 – £2,600
Hammer: £4200
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