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Auction: 23006 - The Official COINEX Auction at Spink
Lot: 44

The John Chatwin Collection | East Anglia, Eadmund (c. 855-869), 'Early Phase', Penny, c. 855-862, Ipswich [?], Æthelwulf, + EADMVND REX AN, about beaded circle containing short cross, crescents in angles, rev. hEDELPVULF+MON, retrograde and inverted around beaded inner circle, short cross pattée, wedges in angles, [Spink XRF: 88.90% Ag; 9.09% Cu; 0.754% Pb; 0.75% Zn; 0.360% Au], 0.89g [13.73grns], 5h (Evans, Num Chron, 1866, p. 238, no. 4 - 'triangles' [not 5 as Blunt and Dolley attest]; J Corbet Anderson, Saxon Croydon, 1877, p. 132, no. 4 this coin; Blunt & Dolley, 'The Hoard Evidence for the Coins of Alfred', BNJ 1958, p. 228, no. 111 this coin; H E Pagan, 'The Coinage of the East Anglian Kingdom from 825 to 870' [BNJ, 1982], p. 78 this coin; Naismith E55.1a this coin and the plate illustration; SCBI 20 [Mack], 677 = EMC 1020.0677 this coin; North 457; BMC [Coll. nos. 71-74]; Spink 955), incomplete, otherwise nicely hoard-toned and beautifully uniform for strike, undeniably wholesome and attractive, and nearing extremely fine for issue, extremely rare, and with an prestigious pedigree to the groundbreaking Croydon trove of June 1862 before entering the respected cabinets of Allen (1898); Lawrence (1903); Lord Grantley (1944); and Commander Mack (1979)


From the John Chatwin Collection of English Hammered Coins

SNC, September 1989, lot 4591* - "slightly chipped, otherwise extremely fine" - £350

Spink 64, 23 June 1988, lot 140* - "edge badly chipped, otherwise extremely fine and rare"

SNC, September 1987, lot 5088* - N.457, "edge chipped but pleasing and otherwise extremely fine" - £525

SNC, September 1985, lot 5728* - "N.458 [recte], rare, edge a little chipped at 3-6 o'clock, otherwise extremely fine" - £750

Commander R P Mack, Sylloge 677, remaining collection purchased by Spink after auction, 1979

Baldwin, by private treaty with Mack, February 1961

Lord Grantley, Part III, Glendining, 22-23 March 1944, lot 919(c) [part] - £13.0.0 [Baldwin]

L A Lawrence, first collection, by private treaty to Lord Grantley, c. 1903

Verity, by private treaty with Lawrence

W Allen, Sotheby, 14 March 1898, lot 299 [part] - fragments of Anglo-Saxon and Norman Pennies of Eadmund... - £0.19.0 [Verity]

~ Illustrated by J Corbet Anderson, in: Saxon Croydon, Chronicles of the Parish, 1877, p. 132, no. 4 this coin [Wm Allen Collection] ~

~ Allen's parcel of at least eighty [of his 120] coins were methodically scrutinised and acquired by Sir John Evans in 1866, the remainder appearing in his sale (vide: NumChron, 1866, pp. 232-240, no. 4) ~

By private treaty with William Allen, the local numismatist, late Summer 1862

~ Evidently the Reverend Henry Christmas had already cherry-picked the coins of Edmund, as at least five are subsequently described in his 1864 Sotheby's dispersal as 'in the most brilliant preservation' (lots 37-41, where they sold for between £1.6.0 to 2.12.0 per coin!) ~

Mr Thomas Weller, aged 67, of Gloucester Road, Selhurst, Editor of the Croydon Standard, after being rejected as 'worthless' by another Croydon High Street Jeweller, by private treaty with the navvies - £4.6.0 p/oz, [and thus perhaps 3 guineas in total]

"White Horse" (Croydon) Hoard, deposited AD 874/75; recovered mid-June 1862


"In the middle of the month of June, in the year 1862, as the navvies were cutting the line that runs from West Croydon Station through Selhurst and Thornton Heath to Balham, within the manor of Whitehorse, and not far from Collier's Water Lane, they found, at a depth of about two feet below the surface, what the called a stone coffin, without a lid. This coffin, or chest, crumbled under the picks and spades of these labourers, when, amid the debris, they discovered what seemed to be a mouldering bag full of something, - for the possession of which there was a scramble among the navvies, and some of its contents were dispersed. But a brittle mass, matted together with clay and green oxide, was carried into the town of Croydon by the man who had first laid hands on it, and offered for sale at the shop of one of our High Street jewellers, where it was rejected as worthless. To the late Mr. Thomas Weller's, the disconcerted navvy then took the despised bag-full, when a shopman, not aware of what it was composed, out of curiosity touched with a file one of the fragments, and finding it silver, as old silver for his master he purchased the lump at the rate of four shillings and sixpence an ounce. Upon a careful examination, the hoard, for such it turned out to be, was found to have originally consisted of about two hundred and fifty Anglo-Saxon coins, most of which were in fine preservation; together with a few small silver ingots, and a part of a torc, or neck ornament, also of silver, and two or three Cufic coins."

Thomas Weller, in his capacity as Editor of the local journal, made pronouncements of the find in his publications of the 6 and 13 August 1862 which confirmed rumours of the chance discovery whilst ballasting the new rail line between Thornton Heath and Selhurst train stations. Blunt and Dolley considered the site to be: "probably not more than one hundred yards south of the former" (vide BNJ 1958, p. 222).

Rev. Henry Christmas, in his further notice of the discovery to the Numismatic Chronicle (1862, pp. 302-304), surmised that he had: "[never seen] a 'trouvaille,' the date of whose deposit was more easy to determine". Sir John Evans and Corbet Anderson after him, would note that those coins of King Alfred in the "Burgred style" provided a provisional TPQ for the trove. Those of Charles 'le Chauvre', previously attributed to 'Charlemagne' and including his 'REX' title, which he bore until the death of his nephew, offered an equally compelling TAQ for the deposit by AD 874/75.

The location of the hoard was likely part of the Great North Forest of Oaks, a portion of which is now called Norwood, amid the trees at the foot of the hill. It has been suggested that the treasure was possibly hidden from a Viking incursion by its owner. No local museums were interested at the time of the discovery, as the contemporary view was that "the deposit was not wanting in a degree of national interest!"

This coin was one of at least eighteen from the reign of Edmund known from the trove. He ruled over East Anglia from 855 until 869/870, but it would be his gruesome demise that would ensure his legacy. It is eulogised that Edmund following capture by Viking forces, was beaten; restrained to a tree and then impaled with arrows. Decapitating his lifeless body in a final act of sacrilegious coup-de-grâce. He was instantly regarded as a Martyr and almost as swiftly canonized. He became the Patron Saint of Pandemics and Kings, and along with Edward the Confessor, was regarded as the first patron of England (until St George in the 15th Century).

The hoard was originally dispersed by Weller amongst Rev. Henry Christmas, William Allen (including this coin); J Bennington; Dr George Cooper and Henry Harland, and a person unknown who later sold them to S S Lewis of Tunbridge Wells.

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