A Middle Saxon coin imported from Frisia (obverse)

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A Middle Saxon coin imported from Frisia (obverse)

This coin is the only object of the years AD 400-900 which has been found in Exeter outside the area of the Saxon minster. Obverse side shown here. In publishing this piece Marion Archibald of the British Museum commented as follows:

'The immediate prototype of this piece is a gold Frisian copy of the MVNVS DIVINVM solidus of Louis the Pious first struck in 816-18. The present example is however made of bronze and is the core of a plated forgery whose gold surface has not survived...This piece is very corroded, especially the obverse, on which it was impossible to determine the exact forms of the effigy and the letters of the legend...The obverse lettering still retains recognizable elements of the LVDOVICVS of the ultimate prototype.

Although this object is the remains of a false coin, it still has great interest as another example of a Frisian coin of the mid 9th century found in England with all its implications for contact with the Netherlands.'

Acknowledgments: © Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter City Council

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