Coinage in the Northumbrian Landscape and Economy

Coinage in the Northumbrian Landscape and Economy, c.575–c.867

Tony Abramson

The data is detailed and comprehensive and its interpretation has the benefit of the author’s expert knowledge of the crucial numismatic material. … The sheer depth and breadth of the chronological and geographical analysis of relevant Northumbrian finds … provides a unique perspective on the role of money in the community at that time.’ Dr Stewart Lyon, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London

Abramson’s project offers a combination of scope and detail that is not easily paralleled in existing literature. … As a significant and thorough analysis of monetary production and circulation in the north of England, [it] represents a significant contribution to knowledge.’ Dr Rory Naismith, King’s College London

This book presents the author’s digitization of Pirie’s substantial yet flawed corpus of 9th-century Northumbrian ‘stycas’. This database, enhanced by data from elsewhere, is compared by location with the artefactual database known as VASLE (created at the University of York, 2008) to demonstrate that the co-occurrence of coins and portable artefacts defines monetary evolution in Northumbria. Additionally, the author presents a new periodization and reveals the previously disparaged gold shillings of York to have been issued by Bishop Paulinus, a disruptive finding chronologically, with wider consequences. Northumbria benefited increasingly, both monetarily and fiscally, as the face value of coins fell. Other conclusions include the idea that Northumbrian coin production was erratic; that the Yorkshire Wolds were more highly monetized than the surrounding lowlands, indicating a more enterprising culture; that styca hoards represent episcopal expropriations; and that there were significant changes in settlement and economy in the central lowlands. This work demonstrates that monetization reflected northern independence, innovation and enterprise.

BAR No: B641 | RSP: £49 / €73.50 / US$98 | ISBN: 9781407316536 | Language: English | 229 pages, Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 4 tables, 161 figures, 13 graphs, 9 maps, 23 illustrations (10 plates and 13 individual illustrations). With additional information online (databases and datasets).

Talk: Portraits of a Lady - The Cult and Iconography of the Goddess Nana.

This paper by Richard Fynes, explores the aspects of the cult of the asiatic goddess Nana, with an emphasis on the numismatic evidence.

The Picture shows the Central Asian goddess Nana (Ardokhsho) seated on her lion mount is likely the source for this small icon from Buddhist Afghanistan. Central and North Asia, 500–1000 A.D.

Date and Time

Fri 20 July 2018
14:30 – 15:30


The Grandstand
York Racecourse
Tadcaster Road
YO23 1EX

The Yorkshire Numismatist Added to Newman Portal

The Yorkshire Numismatist Added to Newman Portal

The Yorkshire Numismatic Society (Leeds, UK) has contributed four volumes of the Yorkshire Numismatist for inclusion on Newman Portal. These volumes, periodically published since 1988, gather scholarly articles on ancient, medieval, and modern numismatics with an emphasis on Anglo-Saxon and English material. Volume 4 (2012), for example, contains an article by Adrian Marsden that discusses a hoard of 65 Anglo-Saxon sceattas, unearthed by a metal detectorist in 2010. Frey’s Dictionary (incorporated into the Newman Portal dictionary) provides context on the sceatttas: “Small thick silver coins, varying in weight from about seven to twenty grains, and the earliest productions of the Anglo-Saxon mint, dating from the fifth to the eighth century. They occur with both Runic and Roman inscriptions and on some the name of London may be read.” Marsden’s article catalogs and analyzes the varieties found and provides additional historical background. The Newman Portal is grateful to Yorkshire Numismatic Society president Tony Abramson for facilitating this contribution.

Link to the Yorkshire Numismatist on Newman Portal:

Link to Newman Portal Dictionary:

Image: Sceattas from the Aldborough (Norfolk) hoard.

Small is Beautiful: Medallic Art in Victorian Britain

Small is Beautiful: Medallic Art in Victorian Britain

I am a committee member of the York & East Yorkshire Art Fund and am writing to make you aware of a fund raising event which may be of interest to your members.

Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum will give a talk about Victorian commemorative medals, including the work of William Wyon, Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint and his great rival Petrucci. 

The talk will take place at York Medical Society Rooms, Stonegate, York on Thursday 22 March at 14.00 and will be followed by afternoon tea, which is included in the ticket price of £20.
To book, please contact Lindsay Councell, tel. 01423 330388 or email her at 

Kind regards,

Anne McLean

Funds raised will go to the Art Fund which supports museums and galleries by helping them to buy and display works of art. It also provides museums and curators with funding for acquisitions, training and development, and the display of art through tours and exhibitions.

Talk: ‘English Coinage in the Age of Burgred of Mercia.

Talk: 2:30pm, Friday 16th March 2018

‘English Coinage in the Age of Burgred of Mercia; 850-875’

by William Mackay

The Lunettes coinage as the first coinage with unified design in Southern England. It began in Mercia with Burgred in the 850s and was extended to Wessex in the 860s before coming to an end in the 870s. Often regarded as common, base and  of uninteresting design, this was an innovative coinage. In this talk I will explore its scope and chronology as well as considering what it can tell us about coinage production in Southern England in the period before the Danish conquests and look at the impact of these on the coinage.‘

In taking this approach I can draw together the separate work I have done on the Lunettes coinage covering Aethelred I and Alfred in Wessex (and not forgetting Ceolnoth in Canterbury) as well as Burgred of Mercia.

            Venue: Harrogate Spring Coin Fair, Swan Hotel, Swan Road, Harrogate, HG1 2SR, 
(car parking tickets at hotel reception) 

Two Books

On Tuesday 23rd January, YNS President Tony Abramson spoke at the British Numismatic Society meeting at the Warburg Institute on the topic of Reassessing the York Gold Shilling. Spink took the opportunity to display two new volumes from the speaker. The first is an update of the popular Sceatta List. This second edition of Sceatta List adds more than a hundred new varieties of early pennies. It builds on the work of pioneers in the field – Rigold, Metcalf, Blackburn and Gannon. While this topic, with its huge variation in designs, has more than its fair share of difficulties, the author has always sought to make the subject more accessible to occasional users. This is achieved through the generous use of illustrations, the majority taken from his own collection housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Moreover, the author provides insight to the organisation, dating and designs of this seventh- to eighth-century medium of exchange where the medium is the message, though often obscured by the passage of time. The volume is essentially for – and essential to – collectors, curators, cataloguers, detectorists and dealers, among others, and includes guidance on scarcity and values. The second volume compliments the first and is no. 69 in the Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles, listing over 1,100 early Anglo-Saxon coins of England and the North Sea area. This collection is housed in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Both volumes are available only from Spink: