Already this week we’ve featured a very rare Anglo-Saxon silver sceatta and here is yet another. This one was found in Dorset a couple of years since by Phil Thomson.
Phil’s find is an example of series U. On the obverse, standing on a crescent boat, is a female figure with the head facing left; in each hand is a long cross pommee. On the reverse is a fantastic bird facing left (it is more usual for the bird to face to the right). The type is 23d, of which there are some varieties.
A series U, type 23d, sceatta sold at auction last year was very similar but the bird on the reverse faced right. It was in outstanding condition and the hammer price was £1,500.
On the coin found by Phil the obverse is off centre and so is the reverse, though less so. However, the coin is otherwise in EF condition and very rare in such a superb state of preservation. I’d expect a pre-sale auction estimate to be no lower than £800 to £1,000. This is the sort of coin that could fly past the upper estimate if two collectors who both really wanted it entered into a bidding battle.