Aethelred II - Leofthegn -
Northumbria, Æthelred II (c. 841-843-849/50), Styca, Phase IIa, Leofthegn, +EÐILRED REX, ‘planetary’ central motif, equidistant pellets on circle surrounding plain cross, rev. +LEOFDEJN, expanding cross central motif, central motif (2/1), 1.22g, 90° (SCBI 69, 972 this coin; North 190; Spink 868).
Images and selected text reproduced by kind permission of Spink and Son Ltd, London, auction 21050, The Tony Abramson Collection of Dark Age Coinage - Part II - Northumbria, March 18th 2021, lot #504. Provenance:: S Mitchell (Studio Coins), July 2015
An intriguing obverse variety reminiscent of later types from the reign of this king’s namesake Æthelred ‘Unræd’ (cf. Spink 24 September 2019, lot 181) wherein Jacobs speculated the device could be the result of emergency die production following a Viking raid. Whether practical or celestial, neither is out of the realm of possibility from a moneyer as eclectically artistic as Leofthegn.