The Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage: Sixth to Eighth Centuries by Anna GannonThe Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage: Sixth to Eighth Centuries by Anna Gannon

The Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage: Sixth to Eighth Centuries

byAnna Gannon

Paperback | April 29, 2010

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This is the first scholarly art-historical appraisal of Anglo-Saxon coinage, from its inception in the late sixth century to Offa's second reform of the penny c.792. Outside numismatic circles, this material has largely been ignored because of its complexity, yet artistically this is the mostvibrant period of English coinage, with die-cutters showing flair and innovation and employing hundreds of different designs in their work. By analysing the iconography of the early coinage, this book intends to introduce its rich legacy to a wide audience. Anna Gannon divides the designs of the coins into four main categories: busts (including attributes and drapery), human figures, animals and geometrical patterns, presenting prototypes, sources of the repertoire and parallels with contemporary visual arts for each motif. The comparisons demonstratethe central role of coins in the eclectic visual culture of the time, with the advantages of official sanctioning and wide circulation to support and diffuse new ideas and images. The sources of the motifs clarify the relationship between the many designs of the complex Secondary phase (c.710-50).Contemporary literature and theological writings often offer the key to the interpretation of motifs, hinting at a universal preoccupation with religious themes. The richness of designs and display of learning point to a sophisticated patronage with access to exotic prototypes, excellentcraftsmanship and wealth; it is likely that minsters, as rich, learned, and well-organized institutions, were behind some of the coinage. After the economic crises of the mid-eighth century this flamboyant iconography was swept away: with the notable exeption of the coins of Offa, still displayingexciting designs of high quality and inventiveness, reformed issues bore royal names and titles, and strove towards uniformity.
Dr. Anna Gannon is Assistant Curator (Medieval Coinage) at the British Museum.
Title:The Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage: Sixth to Eighth CenturiesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pagesPublished:April 29, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199583846

ISBN - 13:9780199583843


Table of Contents

Part I. Background1. Coinage in Anglo-Saxon England: Sixth to Eighth CenturiesPart II. Iconography2. The Bust3. Human Figures4. Animal Iconography5. Reverses with Crosses, Standards/Saltires and PorcupinesConclusionBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

" up-to date source of information on numismatic research and relevant controversies." --Fran Colman, Folia Linguistica Historica, Vol. 27