Silver penny of the boy king fetches £11,160


24 April 2020
A rare Silver penny of the boy king Edward the Martyr - the teenager who ruled Saxon Britain in the 10th century – that was found on the Isle of Wight has been sold for £11,160 at Dix Noonan Webb.

The coin was estimated to fetch £5,000-7,000 and was bought by an UK collector via a commission bid after competitive bidding from the internet.

Nigel Mills, Antiquities Expert, Dix Noonan Webb said:

“The price realised for the Edward the Martyr penny exceeded our expectations and reflects the quality and rarity of the coin combined with the fact that it is a new discovery and it is first time that it has been offered for sale.”

The rare piece was discovered in March 2018 by a 68-year-old retired council worker using a Minelab ETrac metal detector. After metal detecting for 28 years, the detectorist, who wished to remain anonymous, was on a ploughed field with his local detecting club.

Frustrated at only finding three .22 lead bullets in one spot, and ready to give up for the day he then got another signal in the same area and dug down 4-5 inches to uncover the Saxon penny. The coin was in remarkable condition, and has a fine portrait of the boy king wearing a diadem and facing left.

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Edward only ruled briefly, between the years 975-978 A.D. and was only 13 years old when he was crowned king after the death of his father Eadgar. Edward was assassinated on March 18 at the Saxon hall where Corfe Castle in Dorset, now stands, by supporters of his half brother Aethelred.

Dix Noonan Webb confirmed that they will be donating 5% of their Buyer’s Premium to NHS Charities Together, and a total of £12,203 is being donated to the charity from the first three auctions since the lockdown due to COVID-19. Find out more at:

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