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    Astounding Fine Style "Monogram" Penny of Alfred the Great

    Kings of Wessex. Alfred the Great (871-899) Penny ND (c. 880) MS62 NGC, London mint, London Monogram type, S-1061, N-644 (R) cf. MEC VIII-1253-1258 (different dies), EMC-1021.0986 (same dies). 1.59gm. ÆLFR | ED REX, diademed bust right in fine style / LONDONIA in monogram, single pellet or 'cud' in central O; trefoil above and below. An absolutely stunning and superb example of this classic type, featuring an incredibly deep cabinet tone and a visual allure that far exceeds its assigned grade. The strike is exceptionally sharp and perfectly centered, with the utmost care taken in the execution of even the most minute details of the design, imbuing Alfred's portrait with a notably romanticized appearance, as compared to the usually highly caricatured style of the series. The metal is of excellent quality--ever important on these early English issues--and overall the piece exudes tremendous eye-appeal. Presently holding the second finest technical certification out of just 6 pieces graded by NGC, we note for comparison that an MS63 realized an incredible $52,875 as part of our January 2014 sale of the Eric P. Newman Collection. Likely of an even finer style than that example, we can only anticipate the attention this specimen will draw as it crosses the auction block for the first time in over 20 years.

    This coin represents arguably the most significant event in the history of London. The Roman city of Londinium was abandoned in the late 5th century, succeeded shortly afterwards by the Anglo-Saxon Lundenwic; this settlement encountered frequent Viking invasions and remained essentially a ruin. This all changed when, in 886, Alfred the Great reclaimed control of London from the Vikings and set about renewing its fortifications. The new settlement became the main population center known as Lundenburh, and survives today as the City of London. The reverse design of the present offering beautifully represents Alfred's confidence and commitment to the restoration of London. Mintmarks are found on many hammered coins, indicating either when or where a coin was produced, but seldom is the entirety of the reverse dedicated to informing the viewer specifically which city produced it. Alfred clearly saw great potential in the city he chose to restore, and it is doubtful that any other historical artifact proves this to a greater extent than the Londonia Pennies struck at Alfred's mint on Watling Street.

    Ex. Astarte Auction 1 (May 1998, Lot 403); Patrick Finn (Spring List 1994, no. 26); Seaby Auction 4 (April 1986, Lot 98)

    From the Penn Collection

    View all of [The Penn Collection ]

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2021
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 31
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,943

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