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Penny of Edward the Confessor sells well in Noonans auction

Penny of Edward the Confessor sells well in Noonans auction

On 28 and 29 September 2022 Noonans are held an auction of coins, historical medals and antiquities. The auction includes a rare gold coin of Manuel I of Portugal and a Penny of Edward the Confessor, which doubled its estimate. The auction also featured the collection of Bob Laight, a detectorist for some forty years. His finds did well in the auction.

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

This 10 Cruzados of Manuel I was found on 5 July 2022 by Mick Edwards and was our Featured Find in our PAS Review: week ended 15 July 2022

Mick was in Wiltshire with his wife celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. He managed to get out for some detecting with his recently purchased Deus II and was searching in a field close to where they were staying and found the coin at 6am. Mick said “So far I had only found some broken crotal bells, so I walked to the top of the field for a final effort before breakfast, taking just three more steps I received a clear signal which sounded like a large copper coin“. He dug down about ten inches to unearth the coin “I was dumbstruck and just sat looking at the coin unable even to breathe

Nigel Mills of Noonans said “In England at this time the largest gold coin was a Sovereign which weighed 15.3 grams so this coin is more than double that in weight, so would have had a value greater than two pounds.

Mick’s wife is compiling a list of how she would like to spend the cash; with half of the proceeds going to the landowner.

The story of the coin and Manuel I from our PAS article is shown below:


Photo: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum CC By SA2.0

10 Cruzados of Manuel I of Portugal

Mint: None
Estimate: £20,000 – £30,000
Hammer: £16000
Date found: 06/07/2022
Location: Wiltshire

This gold 10 cruzados of Manuel I of Portugal is the first coin of its type to be recorded by the PAS. It has therefore been designated a Find of Note of Regional Importance. Apart from the punch mark it is in really good condition.

Manuel I of Portugal

The reign of Manuel I, from 1495 to 1521, was a triumph and its achievements are felt to this day. He managed to harness the resources of his geographically small nation to build a large empire and made him the wealthiest king in Europe. His success was based on supporting sea navigation, and exploiting the new found sea routes and colonies to establish a vast trade empire.

Shortly after becoming king, his sponsorship of Vasco de Gama led to the discovery of the sea route to India, which led to Portugal having a monopoly on the spice trade. A couple of years later, Pedro Álvares Cabral discovered Brazil. From 1503 – 1515 Manuel went on to capture strategic ports such as Aden, Ormuz and Malacca. This enabled him to control the important trade routes to Persia, India and China.


One of the issues with all this success is that you acquire a lot of titles, which you’ll want to display on your coins.

On the obverse the outer legends reads (with retrograde N throughout) :I: EMANVEL: R: PORTVGALIE: AL. C: VL. IN. A: D: G:. The inner legend reads C. ETHIOPIE: ARABIE: PERSIE: I: C. N: (again with retrograde N). The gives “Manuel I, King of Portugal and the Algarves, of the Lands before and beyond Africa, Lord of Guinea” and continues on the inner legend “Conquest, Navigation and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia and India

In hoc signo vinces

The legend accompanying the cross on the reverse reads IN HOC SIGNO VINCES “In this sign thou shalt conquer“. It is based on the story that Emperor Constantine I saw vision of a cross of light above the sun on his way to a battle and in a dream that night Jesus told him to use the cross against his enemies. The Kingdom of Portugal had used this motto since 1139. (It was also part of the trademark for Pall Mall cigarettes).

Other detecting finds

Photo: © Noonans

Penny of Edward the Confessor

A “Transitional Pyramids” penny of Edward the Confessor. It was found in the summer of 2017 at Pershore, Worcestershire and recorded at the PAS as WAW-F86AD7. Reverse reads GARVLF ON PIHRE giving the moneyer as Garwulf and mint as Worcester. Transitional Pyramids are very rare and this may be the first by Garwulf. The PAS designated it a Find of Note of Regional Importance.
Estimate: £6,000 – £8,000
Hammer: £13000
Photo: © Noonans

 Gold solidus of Julius Nepos

Gold solidus of Julius Nepos. VITVRI A AVGGG reverse type depicting Victory standing left holding long cross. Unofficial mint in Southern Gaul. Mintmark: COMOB. Found on 19 April 2015 in the Isle of Wight and recorded at the PAS as IOW-51C398.
Estimate: £4,000 – £5,000
Hammer: £3400

Bob Laight

Bob Laight’s story from Noonan’s auction catalogue:

Bob Laight was brought up in Studley in Warwickshire where after leaving school he took up an apprenticeship as a spring auto setter in Redditch.

He had many hobbies including darts and fishing, but when he took up metal detecting in the early nineteen eighties he subsequently spent all of his free time looking for buried treasure, his genuine enthusiasm enabled him to build relationships with landowners and he was often accompanied by his buddies Steve and Graham.

His discoveries over the years include several gold artefacts from the Saxon era, with everything found recorded with Warwick Museum. Bob was a very kind and always helpful friend. He is survived by his wife of 53 years Jeanne


His finds are from the Warwick/Worcester borders. Below is a selection:

Photo: © Noonans

Quarter stater North-Western Qc type

Western Wheel class 1, wreath design, Reverse: triple-tailed horse right, no mane, floral sun above, wheel below. Found at Repton.
Estimate: £400 – £500
Hammer: £650
Photo: © Noonans

Stater of the Dobunni

Reverse shows a triple-tailed horse right, wheel below, crescent and CORIO above. Found at Repton.
Estimate: £1,500 – £2,000
Hammer: £2200
Photo: © Noonans

Penny of Ecgberht

Minted in Rochester by Dunn (DUNUN MONET on the reverse). Found at Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire in September 2015 and recorded at the PAS as WAW-A3B0D2 where it was designated a Find of Note of County Importance.
Estimate: £600 – £800
Hammer: £1200
Photo: © Noonans

Henry III cut halfpence pieces

88 cut long cross halfpence of Henry III.
Estimate: £80 – £100
Hammer: £260
Photo: © Noonans

Solidus of Gratian

Reverse shows two emperors seated facing, together holding a globe, behind them Victory with outstretched wings, palm branch below, TROBT in exergue. Found in Alcester.
Estimate: £400 – £600
Hammer: £1200
Photo: © Noonans

Seal matrix of Henry Cotis

The seal matrix reads S’HENRI. DE. COTIS* (Henry Cotis) and shows a fleur-de-lis with two birds facing above. 
Estimate: £120 – £150
Hammer: £160
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