An extremely rare Silver penny of the boy king Edward the Martyr - the teenager who ruled Saxon Britain in the 10th century that was found on the Isle of Wight sold on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 for £11,160 in an online/ live auction at Dix Noonan Webb
, the international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists in their sale of Coins. It was estimated to fetch £5,000-7,000 and it was bought by an UK Collector via a commission bid after competitive bidding from the internet.
Following the sale, Nigel Mills, Antiquities Expert, Dix Noonan Webb said: The price realised for the Edward the Martyr penny exceeded our expectations and reflects the quality and rarity of the coin combined with the fact that it is a new discovery and it is first time that it has been offered for sale.
It was discovered in March 2018 by a 68-year-old retired council worker using a Minelab ETrac metal detector. After metal detecting for 28 years, the detectorist, who wished to remain anonymous, was on a ploughed field with his local detecting club. Frustrated at only finding three .22 lead bullets in one spot, and ready to give up for the day he then got another signal in the same area and dug down 4-5 inches to uncover the Saxon penny.
The coin was in remarkable condition, and has a fine portrait of the boy king wearing a diadem and facing left. Edward only ruled briefly, between the years 975-978 A.D. and was only 13 years old when he was crowned king after the death of his father Eadgar. Edward was assassinated on March 18 at the Saxon hall where Corfe Castle in Dorset, now stands, by supporters of his half brother Aethelred [lot 128].
The auction comprised 692 lots and saw only four unsold. Another notable highlight was an Australian coin - one of the first coins to have been made for circulation in the new colony of New South Wales in 1813. Otherwise known as a Dump, the coin was from the Collection of British Colonial Coins formed by the late John Roberts-Lewis. Valued at Fifteen Pence, and comprised a circular centre segment from the Five Shilling Holey Dollar, it had been estimated to fetch £2,000-£3,000 but after significant interest, it fetched £6,820 and was bought by an Australian Collector [lot 363].
As Peter Preston-Morley, Specialist and Associate Director, Dix Noonan Webb, explained: The phrase dump is an Australian colloquialism invented in the late 19th century and the piece is from an old collection of British Colonial coins that DNW are offering, the previous owner bought it 58 years ago for £4. There are about 800 pieces known, so it isnt that rare as such, but of the 800 only about 120 or so are in the sort of condition that this one is. Most were used until they wore out and were melted down for silver in late Victorian times.