Two rare Ipswich coins found by metal detectorists near Eye are sold at auction for nearly £10,000

images of both sides the obverse and the reverse � of the Haughley penny sold at Spink in London
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images of both sides the obverse and the reverse � of the Haughley penny sold at Spink in London this morning. (Thursday December 18). - Credit: Archant

Two “very rare” 1,200-year-old silver pennies, found by metal detectorists in different parts of Suffolk, sold for £9,240 at an auction on Thursday – nearly £3,000 more than expected.

the images of both sides of the 1200 year old penny found near Eye and sold at Spink in London this

the images of both sides of the 1200 year old penny found near Eye and sold at Spink in London this morning. (Thursday December 18). - Credit: Archant

The rarest and most valuable of the two coins was “probably” made in Ipswich and was found near Eye in August 2012. It had been expected to sell for between £3,000 and £4,000 at the auction at Spink in Bloomsbury, London. But, in the end, it was snapped up by a mystery bidder for £6,600.

Another 1,200-year-old silver penny – found by another detectorist near Haughley in June 2014 – was expected to fetch between £2,000 and £2,500 at the same auction. But that went for £2,640.

Coincidentally, both coins were made in East Anglia –and the Eye penny was “probably” made in Ipswich – by the same so-called moneyer named Wihtred. Spink has not revealed the names of the detectorists who found the coins or the precise locations of the finds, but confirmed that they were found near Eye and near Haughley.

The Eye penny was made sometime between circa 796-798-800 – about 270 years before the landmark Battle of Hastings in 1066 – and was struck “probably” in Ipswich by moneyer Wihtred during the reign of the obscure East Anglian King Eadwald. Spink say that the penny is “a very rare issue of this virtually unknown East Anglian king”.


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The silver penny found near Haughley, in June 2014 was also made by the moneyer Wihtred, but a bit earlier than the Eye coin, sometime between 780 and 793, during the reign (757-796) of King Offa.

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