Continental Sceattas (Sceats) For Sale (Circa 695 - 740 AD)

The so-called 'porcupine' sceattas of the continental North Sea coasts belong to the very first vernacular (non-Roman) trade currencies. The 'porcupine' desigmation refers to the characteristic obverse design of a royal buts with a band of spikes extending from the top and back of the head: this often degenerates into a mere spiky strip without human face details, and resembles a crude depicton of a porcupine. The introduction of the sceatta in markets along the North Sea rim (England, Frisia, north Germany) meant that a single currency could be used in any port, which stimulated trade and swelled the tax-revenues of the kings who issued the coins and protected the merchants. Continental coins are found frequently in England, as are Anglo-Saxon types on the Continent. We regularly supplement our collection of continental sceattas for sale - check back to this page soon.

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Anglo-Saxon Porcupine 'Series E, Variety G1' Continental Sceatta 019549

Anglo-Saxon Porcupine 'Series E, Variety G1' Continental Sceatta
Silver, 1.10 grams, 11.51 mm. Continental, Series E Variant; 695-740 AD. Obverse: finely engraved 'porcupine-like' figure with triangular head and pellets below. Reverse: votive standard with four lines around central annulet. S. 790G; Metcalf p. 200-5, etc. Good very fine, struck in good quality silver.

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Anglo-Saxon Porcupine 'Series E, Variety G1' Continental Sceatta 019549

A Brief History of Continental Sceattas

After the porcupine sceatta, the continental runic type (Series D 2c) and the woden-monster type sceattas (Series X) are the most frequent of the continental sceattas. The porcupine sceattas were probably struck the most in the area of the so-called "Mouths of the Rhine", which belongs to the area of the basin of the river Scheldt. According to current opinions, these coins do date from the period between 695 and 740 A.D. It has been argued extensively by the British Em. Professor D.M. Metcalf that most of the porcupine sceattas known as the Series E do originate from the Continent indeed without any doubt. The minting of this most successful of all sceatta coinages got well under way during the long reign of Prime-Minister Redbad (690-719 AD). Along the North Sea coasts these tiny silver coins were by far the most convenient and reliable means of payment, from Northern France to Denmark. From the distribution patterns of the finds of continental sceattas all over North Western Europe, archaeologists and historians can deduct that the size of the economy of the people of the Fresones was bigger than that of any surrounding Merovingian, Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian kingdom.

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