Books on Anglo-Saxon Coinage

Tony Abramson

Tony Abramson has studied the small, early Anglo-Saxon silver coinage, referred to as sceats*  for the last twenty years. He has organised a series of symposia held at both the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds. These have resulted in the publication of papers presented at the symposia together with other material in Studies in Early Medieval Coinage, edited by Tony and published by Boydell & Brewer. Volume 3 is under preparation.

He has also published a number of stand-alone books. The first, Sceattas: An Illustrated Guide, sold 1,500 copies and was short-listed for the inaugural North Book Prize. This is now complemented by the much more detailed Sceatta List, a radical re-arrangement of the sceatta coinage extending the number of main varieties to 570 categorized in 114 groups, organized into 10 themes.

Anglo-Saxon Counterfeits is an invaluable aid to collectors in this age of burgeoning duplicity, especially on the internet. It not only collates all previous major publications of fakes but includes all the Anglo-Saxon material from both the British Museum and the AH Baldwin “Black Museum”. Moreover, all modern reproductions including those by Ashmore, Grunal and the makers of so-called ‘museum replicas’, often passed off as genuine by unscrupulous traders on unsuspecting novices, are arranged by Spink number.

* pronounced ‘skeets’, preferably not sceattas (‘shatters’), though 'sceatta' can be used as an adjective. Better still is to refer to these coins as proto-pennies.