Devizes museum secures rare Saxon gold coin for Wiltshire
The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes has successfully acquired a rare and important Saxon coin found at East Grafton in April this year by a metal dectectorist. The coin was bought at an auction held by the specialist coin house Spink and Son in London on Thursday (December 3.)
The coin had a sale estimate of between £8,000 and £12,000 and the Museum was successful with a winning bid of £18,000. The catalogue described the coin as “excessively rare”.
The Wiltshire Museum was awarded grants towards the purchase by the Arts Council England / Victoria and Albert Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund. In addition, donations and pledges were given through a fundraising appeal launched by the museum.
The coin was struck in about AD655 and AD 675 and dates to the time of the beginnings of Christianity in Wiltshire. The remarkable find sheds new light to the Vale of Pewsey in the Saxon period.
David Dawson, the Museum's director, was delighted to have secured the coin for display at the Wiltshire Museum: "It is a powerful demonstration of the importance of the Vale of Pewsey and the Kingdom of Wessex. We are very grateful to the almost 50 people from Wiltshire and across the World who have supported the purchase of this important coin, along with the help of our grant funders.”