Tony Abramson's copiously illustrated and cross-referenced, 160-page catalogue, Gold Coins of Anglo-Saxon England, can be ordered directly from Tony Abramson. At a price of £30 (including P&P in UK), this hardback is excellent value.
This is a prequel to Sceatta List, covering all known 'thrymsas' and other gold denominations. This is the first fully-illustrated catalogue of known specimens since Humphrey Sutherland's 1948 Anglo-Saxon Gold Coinage and includes nearly 100 different varieties with numerous large-scale, high resolution images not previously available. This accessible and indispensable, hardback volume is a must for all detectorists, field liaison officers, curators, scholars, dealers, auction cataloguers and collectors.
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As long as civilization has used coins as a form of currency there have been individuals who, for a number of reasons, have made fakes, replicas and counterfeits. Not all counterfeits are produced for personal profit and not all replicas are designed to deceive. However, to both scholar and collector, historical counterfeits have long been a matter of serious interest, concern and, in certain circumstances, an area of study in their own right. The Anglo-Saxon coinage with its huge variety of designs and styles, has been a lucrative target for pernicious counterfeiters. From the contemporary craftsmen who produced their own derivative copies to supplement the limited supply of coins, to the modern makers of museum replicas, the coins of the Anglo-Saxon period have been copied, replicated and forged to produce a corpus of material almost as extensive as the originals from which they draw their inspiration. In this ground breaking new study Tony Abramson brings together a vast catalogue of Anglo-Saxon counterfeits and copies in the first modern study of this fascinating subject. Fully illustrated with over 3,000 detailed images this study examines the types, styles and creative inspirations that have fascinated and intrigued all those who study early coinage. From contemporary copies to modern fakes, the catalogue is an essential guide for both scholars and collectors.
This book presents the author’s digitization of Pirie’s substantial yet flawed corpus of 9th-century Northumbrian ‘stycas’.
This database, enhanced by data from elsewhere, is compared by location with the artefactual database known as VASLE (created at the University of York, 2008) to demonstrate that the co-occurrence of coins and portable artefacts defines monetary evolution in Northumbria. Additionally, the author presents a new periodization and reveals the previously disparaged gold shillings of York to have been issued by Bishop Paulinus, a disruptive finding chronologically, with wider consequences. Northumbria benefited increasingly, both monetarily and fiscally, as the face value of coins fell. Other conclusions include the idea that Northumbrian coin production was erratic; that the Yorkshire Wolds were more highly monetized than the surrounding lowlands, indicating a more enterprising culture; that styca hoards represent episcopal expropriations; and that there were significant changes in settlement and economy in the central lowlands. This work demonstrates that monetization reflected northern independence, innovation and enterprise.
Sceattas, or Sceats as they are often called, are regularly found by detectorists but are not so easy to identify. This book, with its hundreds of photographs and detailed descriptions, allows the reader not only to identify a coin with ease, but also gives a precise valuation in two conditions – A must have book for every detectorist and coin collector.
This third edition of Sceatta List takes the number of varieties listed and illustrated to beyond seven hundred. It builds on the work of pioneers in the field - Rigold, Metcalf, Blackburn and Gannon.
Conventionally, Northumbrian Stycas have been seen as plain, base little coins. It is only in the last two or three decades, that it has been accepted that they were the first mass-produced coinage with a face value sufficiently low to meet regular needs, including paying church dues, a spiritual need felt as keenly as the temporal demands of daily life for the early medieval serf.
They were empowering and an economic catalyst of considerable numismatic significance.
Elizabeth Pirie dedicated years of work to compiling a corpus of Stycas, but her complicated arrangement makes access difficult for the newcomer to what, in reality, is a simple coinage. Tony Abramson digitised her database and as a result compiled this short booklet which covers identification of the entire coinage by the simple device of separating obverses from reverses, that is, issuers from moneyers, rather than building complex spiders’ webs of interrelated dies.
The marquee lot was this 7th century gold shilling depicting Eadbald, King of Kent, which fetched £40,800.
Tony Abramson started collecting coins in the 1950s, and managed to amass 1,200 coins including this Anglo-Saxon gold shilling which sold for £30,000.
The first half of his collection, consisting of 576 coins including this Northumbria, Aldfrith, Primary Phase, Sceat, was sold by London auctioneers Spink & Son earlier this year.
A coin displaying Bishop Paulinus, the missionary who converted pagan kings to Christianity and later served as the first Bishop of York, went for £30,000, another record price. A recognised authority on the subject has recently said that they cannot think of a larger revelation in British Numismatics in recent times than your deciphering of the Paulinus legend - what a breakthrough!
More than 400 bidders took part in the online auction for the coin collection, including this Post-Crondall Types pale gold shilling which sold for £9,000.
In total, the collection achieved a hammer price of £714,000, over double the £330,000 pre-sale estimate, helped by this Northumbria coin which sold for £20,400.
The auction house Spink & Son was apparently hit with 'frenzied online and telephone bidding' during the sale of the coins, including this Eardwulf Sceat which was bought for £8,400.
Gregory Edmund, specialist at Spink & Son, said Abramson's collection, which included this pale gold shilling sold for £22,800, is unparalleled by any private or museum collection in existence.
Edmund said the collection of coins, such as this sceat which sold for £1,320, 'is the most important collection of early Anglo-Saxon coins ever to come to market'.
A gold shilling of Mellitus, the first Bishop of London. Mellitus died in 624. It is believed he had two periods of issue - one around 604 as Bishop of London (the shillings reading Londonus on the reverse) and then for Eadbald between 619 and 624.
Edmund said 'Tony's work has been pioneering in 'shining a light' on the Dark Ages, with coins from all over Northumbria, including this one which sold for £5,400.