Reproduction Alfred The Great Penny
Obverse: Diademed portrait bust of Alfred right. Text around AELFRED REX.
Reverse: LVNDONIA (London) monogram, triangle of three pellets top and bottom, cross pattee to the left and cross to the right. Text above TILEVINE MONETA.
History: Alfred was king of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex from 871 to 899. He defended the kingdom against the Vikings, becoming as a result the only English monarch to be awarded the epithet "the Great" by his people. Alfred was the first King of Wessex to style himself "King of England".
The large monogram on this coin spells out the name LVNDONIA (London). In the 8th and 9th centuries it was very unusual for coins to specify the place in which they were made.
This famous London monogram type was issued between the early 880's to 888. It celebrates Alfred's assumption of control of Mercia after the demise of the last Mercian king, Ceolwulf II (874-879). Special named issues were also produced at two other Mercian towns, Oxford and Gloucester, stamping Alfred’s authority over them.
There are two distinct phases of portrait issue coinage. The earlier and more prolific coins omit the name of the moneyer, but on a few late pieces there appears the name Tilewine. Presumably it was intended to increase the size of the issue but the idea was abandoned with the introduction of a 'Non-portrait' type so that these coins can be dated with considerable precision.
Alfred embarked on a reform of the currency system. He established a series of new mints around the country so eventually every borough was entitled to have its own mint to help pay for the costs of running and defending the borough.
Date: Moneyer Tilewine London, 886-88.