Discovered by metal detectorist Graeme Rushton on October 20, 2018 on the border of South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, using a Teknetics G2+ metal detector, the coin is one of only 25 known specimens and is estimated to fetch upto £10,000.
Graeme who is 50-years-old and lives in South Cumbria, has been detecting since he was 8-years-old, and ten years ago, he decided to start his own shop called Unearthed, which sells metal detectors.
As Graeme explains: “It was only my second visit to the site which had just been ploughed and flattened. After about 45 minutes walking up a slight rise in the field, I got a signal, and after digging down 5-6 inches, I uncovered the coin which at first I didn’t recognise. It was only after showing pictures of it to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge that I realised how significant the discovery was.”
The coin has on the obverse the legend “STIENS” with standing figures of Stephen and Matilda facing each other supporting a tall sceptre between them, while on the reverse is a cross fleury over cross pommee with various ornaments around. The coin was minted in York in the early 1140s and is in very fine condition.
Stephen of Blois was the grandson of William I, and became King of England on December 22, 1135 to his death in 1154. For almost all of the 19 years of his reign a civil war raged with his cousin Matilda, with the English Royalist Barons supporting him while the Angevin French supporters backed Matilda, who was the daughter of Henry I of England who had nominated her as heir to the throne. Stephen however claimed that his uncle had changed his mind on his deathbed recognising Stephen as his successor.
The find-spot was not far from where the Battle of Lincoln took place in February 1141 between Stephen and Matilda’s half brother Robert, Earl of Gloucester, Stephen was defeated, captured and imprisoned for six months in Bristol Castle before an exchange enabled him to be released. In 1153, Stephen agreed to accept Matilda’s son Henry as his heir, thus ending the conflict which has become known as the Anarchy.
Due to the current COVID 19 situation, this auction will be online only and there will be no room bidding available. Customers are able to bid live online (DNW make no additional charge for this service) or leave commission bids prior to the auction. Lots may be viewed prior to the sale by appointment only.
FORTHCOMING SALES AT DNW
THURSDAY, AUGUST 20 – THE JACK WEBB COLLECTION OF MEDALS AND MILITARIA
THURSDAY, AUGUST 27 – BRITISH TOKENS, TICKETS AND PASSES
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 – THE CHISLEHURST COLLECTION
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – JEWELLERY, WATCHES, ANTIQUITIES AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – BRITISH AND WORLD COINS
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – THE COLLECTION OF SCOTTISH COINS FORMED BY MICHAEL GIETZELT
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14 – INDIAN COINS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28 – BRITISH, IRISH AND WORLD BANKNOTES
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – COINS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000. Two years later it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens and in 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar. In 2018, it set up a standalone banknotes department and expanded into premises next door. In the same year, DNW achieved a total hammer price of £11,676,580 and the total number of lots across all departments was 20,273. To date the company has sold in excess of 300,000 lots totalling £155 million.
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