On August 15, Rob Brown a 56-year-old from Leeds, was using his Deus XP metal detector on a stubble field near Pickering in North Yorkshire when on arriving and walking just 20 paces he got his first signal of the day. At a depth of just two inches in a clump of soil, he saw the edge of a silver coin which on closer inspection had a design on one side of a standing helmeted knight holding a sword. Around this is an inscription which reads EUSTACIUS. On the reverse is a cross within a quatrefoil with the legend EBOR. ACIT. DEFT.
Rob did not initially recognise the coin which is a very rare silver penny issued in York by Eustace Fitzjohn, the Lord of Malton and Knaresborough who served under King Henry I becoming a wealthy landowner through marriage and then supporting the Empress Matilda when she fought a civil war with her cousin Stephen in the period known as the anarchy in England. There is a fortification which dates from this conflict near the coins find spot.
As Rob, who has been metal-detecting for 8 years, explained: “I was detecting with a friend and we found the coin, we weren’t sure if it was Saxon or Viking, so put a picture on a Facebook page devoted to milled and hammered coins – lots of people were reacting and were very excited – many knew instantly who/ what it was!”
In 1138, Eustace lost custody of Bamburgh Castle to Stephen and decided to join forces with David I of Scotland fighting with him against Stephen at the battle of the standard that year. In July 1157 Eustace was killed in Flintshire after being ambushed by the Welsh army.
Nigel Mills, Expert in Artefacts and Antiquities at Dix Noonan Webb, commented: “Baron Eustace Fitzjohn was a Justician of the north and became a great monastic patron. He was to some extent, the Baron Alan Sugar of his day coming from a humble background but achieving great wealth and prominence. As it was a period of Civil War, Baron Fitzjohn had the authority to have coins struck in York which were primarily for local use.”
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
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28 – BRITISH, IRISH AND WORLD BANKNOTES
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – COINS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – THE COLLECTION OF BRITISH TOKENS FORMED BY JOHN ROSE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24 – JEWELLERY, WATCHES, ANTIQUTIES & OBJECTS OF VERTU
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1 & 2 – COINS, TOKENS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
Free online bidding is available is www.dnw.co.uk
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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.
For further press information and images please contact:
Rachel Aked - Tel: 07790732448/ Email: Rachel@rachelaked.co.uk