The sale at Sovereign Rarities includes this Alfred the Great (871-899) silver penny, estimate £20,000-25,000.

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However, the date is also notable for the string of auctions being held in London to coincide with the event. 

Coinex, the most important event on the British calendar for many serious coin collectors, opens at the Biltmore Hotel in Mayfair on September 29-30.

An event with more than 40 years of history, it is organised by the British Numismatic Trade Association for its members and other guests.

The BNTA itself is 50 years old this year.

A total of 45 exhibitors are named for this outing with the cream of the UK numismatics trade turning out alongside continental European dealerships and auction houses. They include Roderick Richardson, CJ Martin, Knightsbridge Coins, Colin Cook, Silbury Coins and Wessex Coins.

Coinex opens at 11am on Friday, September 29, with ‘Bourse Rights’ and an admission fee of £30, with admission the following day costing £5. However, as has become the norm, in the days immediately before and after the fair a raft of auctions is planned by many of London’s specialist firms including Spink, Noonans, Sovereign Rarities, Baldwin’s, Morton & Eden and St James’s Auctions.

A selection of highlights from these – and other numismatic sales – appears in this feature.

Great expectation


The sale at Sovereign Rarities includes this Alfred the Great (871-899) silver penny, estimate £20,000-25,000.

For example, the sale at Sovereign Rarities on September 26 includes, estimated at £20,000-25,000, an Alfred the Great (871-899) silver penny. Struck in London c.880-899, it was part of the third coinage issued during the reign of Alfred, the key figure in the survival of the Kingdom of Wessex at the time of the Viking invasions.

The portrait silver penny with the image of a diademed king wearing tunic and the monogram of Londonia on the reverse has always been the most desirable coin of this tumultuous period.

This example is a variant with a smaller London monogram and the name of the moneyer Tilewine above and below. The obverse Latin legend translates as Alfred King.

The coin has a long commercial provenance dating back to March 1916 when it was sold at Sotheby’s for £7. It last appeared at auction in 2011 when sold by Dix Noonan Webb.