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Coin Detail
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ID:     81001388
Type:     Western Europe
Region:     England
City:     Early Anglo-Saxon Period
Issuer:     Sceats
Date Ruled:     ANGLO-SAXON, Secondary Sceattas
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Sceat
Date Struck:     AD Secondary Sceattas. Circa 710-725
Weight:     0.90 g
Obverse Description:     Two diademed heads confronted; between, long cross with trident end; double border
Reverse Description:     Cross, at each end a bird right; double border
Primary Reference:     Abramson J400
Reference2:     Metcalf 296-9
Reference3:     North 135
Reference4:     SCBC 792
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF, toned.
Notes:     Sale: CNG 81, Lot: 1388 Series J, type 37 The iconography of confronted heads to either side of a cross has a debatable origin. Prototypes can be seen in certain Merovingian issues, ultimately deriving from Byzantine types for joint rulers, but non-numismatic possibilities point to other meanings. Most notably, the type may signify a relationship, either between people (e.g., marriage or alliance) or concepts (e.g., the holy and the secular) (Gannon pp. 37-39). Regarding the reverse, there are multiple varieties of types depicting birds and crosses, all reflecting Christian iconography: the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, and the cross. The diverse array of prototypes, both from numismatics and elsewhere, accounts for the many variations in their style and presentation (Gannon, pp. 107-112).