Tealby type penny of Henry II

This hammered silver coin, which came in from Anthony Hopkinson, is a very recent find. Anthony knew it was a Tealby type penny of Henry II but asked if I could let him have more details about it.

Tealby (cross and crosslets type) pennies of Henry II are amongst the most badly struck coins ever issued to circulate in England. Some are so bad that hardly any detail shows up. Only three mints managed to strike reasonable looking coins and they were all in the north: Carlisle, Durham and Newcastle. Another point that made the northern mints stand out is that most of the silver blanks for coins were punched out of sheets of silver, rather than cut out by hand. Leading on from this, if a coin is perfectly round then it has usually been struck at Carlisle, Durham or Newcastle.

On the reverse of Anthony’s find the legend isn’t altogether clear but I read the start as WILLELM ON, so Willem is the moneyer. Only a single letter shows up after ON and that is a square C. Therefore, on the basis of the round flan, the find spot (well into the north of England) and the letter C, I would identify the mint as Carlisle.

The obverse is weak and there is a dent to the left of the king’s face. However, from what I can see of it I would say that class F is the most likely.     

The overall condition isn’t good but this is due to a long period in circulation rather than a bad initial strike. Despite not having much eye appeal I have seem lots of Tealby pennies in a far worse state of preservation than this one.

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