The Eighth Henry: A new gold penny at Spink

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The Eighth Henry: A new gold penny at Spink
This newly discovered Henry III Gold Penny adds but one example to an extremely limited corpus of just eight coins.

LONDON.- Rarely can a single find provoke excitement in English numismatics, fewer still be designated of ‘national significance’. However, once-in-a-blue-moon exceptions must be made, especially when recounting the discoveries of Coenwulf’s Gold Mancus in 2001, and the Edward III ‘Double-Leopard’ in 2006. Spink has had the highest honour of bringing to auction both of these coins, and prides itself in 'world firsts' – what a better way to celebrate than with this latest find!

Gregory Edmund, Senior Numismatist and Auctioneer at Spink comments ‘we have the immense privilege of celebrating that long-held trust and reputation by auctioning this latest spectacular find en par with those previous magnificent discoveries in a special evening sale on Sunday, 23 January 2022.’

The First Opportunity to Bid for the Type at Public Auction since 1802

This newly discovered Henry III Gold Penny adds but one example to an extremely limited corpus of just eight coins, and the first addition since the accession of the Conte specimen to the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge) in 2001. Notably the new discovery shares a reverse die with this new find, but one must go back 260 years before a die parallel can be found for the obverse.

Enchantingly, this new coin cements the proposed sequence of noted antiquary Sir John Evans posited in 1900, as it provides us with a second example of Evans ‘first obverse die’ in the series of four known dies. While numismatic focus has traditionally centred on the mythical quality of this talismanic ‘emergency’ coinage of August 1257, extensive work by world-renowned Henry III specialist Professor David Carpenter of King’s College London in the years since our Norweb sale has provided fresh context to Henry’s gold specie and its raison d’être.

This coin survives as a remarkable and exceedingly rare contemporary witness to Henry’s true self-image and his clear affinity with the iconography of England’s first patron Saint Edward the Confessor and serves as an ultimate demonstration of Henry’s influence on and personalisation of the final design.

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