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Early Edwardian Pennies

Group 4

Type 4a (1282 - 1289) - Spink 1394; North 1023

Coins of type 4a are divided into four varieties, 4a1-4a4, the two earlier of which (gallery images 1 and 2) are transitional and have the same crown as 3g2 or 3g3. Features that help distinguish early 4a from 3g include shorter hair, a very narrow letter N and very large commas in the legend. The two later varieties (gallery images 3 and 4) have the 'classic' 4a bust with neater and wider-spread crowns and very long and distinctive hair. The letter A may be barred or unbarred, C and E are open, N is normal, S is always non-composite (thick-waisted). For more detailed classification criteria, see 4a note below.

King’s name: EDW
Mints: Bury, Canterbury, Durham, London

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Type 4b (1282 - 1289) - Spink 1395; North 1024

Coins of type 4b have either a square, smiling face, as gallery image 1, or a narrower face with a pointed chin, as gallery image 2, both of which have new bushy hair. The type is readily identifiable by its crown, which has a broken outer leaf on its right-hand side-fleur. The letter A is barred, C and E are open, N is normal, S is always non-composite. Contractive marks are commas.

King’s name: EDW
Mints: Bury, Canterbury, Durham, London

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Type 4c (1282 - 1289) - Spink 1396; North 1025

Coins of type 4c have a new long face and long bushy hair, but they are most easily recognised by their crown, which is also from a new punch. Between the left ornament and the left side-fleur, the headband has a small but distinct nick in the top edge. The right-hand side-fleur is also distinctive in having a central leaf that turns inwards. The letter A is usually barred, but sometimes unbarred, C and E are open, N is normal, S is always non-composite (thick-waisted). Contractive marks are commas.

King’s name: EDW
Mints: Bury, Canterbury, Durham, London

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Type 4d (1282 - 1289) - Spink 1397; North 1026

Coins of type 4d are similar to type 4c, and have the same crown, but are readily distinguishable by having a pellet at the start of both obverse and reverse legends. Where the pellet is absent on one side of the coin, it is likely to be due to muling with type 4c or 4e, which is quite common. The letter A is usually unbarred, but sometimes barred. C and E are open, N is normal, S is always non-composite (thick-waisted). Contractive marks are commas.

King’s name: EDW
Mints: Canterbury, Durham, London

Type 4e (1282 - 1289) - Spink 1398; North 1027

​Early coins of type 4e have the same crown as type 4d and/or similar hair, but most have a new crown with spread side-fleurs, and hair that is distinctly ropy. Coins of London and Canterbury are usually readily identifiable by having three pellets on the king’s breast, and one in the reverse legend before LON, TOR or (rarely) TAS. Coins of Bury and Durham, however, have no pellets on either side, and a few London and Canterbury coins have two, one or no pellets on the breast. The letter A is unbarred, C and E are open, N is normal, S is non-composite. Contractive marks are commas. Gallery images show: 1. old crown, new hair, 2. new crown, old hair, 3. new crown, new hair, 4. new crown, new hair, no breast pellets.

King’s name: EDW
Mints: Bury, Canterbury, Durham, London

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4a Note

The Fox classification of group 4 coins assigned only a single variety to type 4a (now 4a3), whereas Burns' earlier work had identified three varieties of the equivalent type, namely A19 (now 4a4), A20 (now 4a3) and A21 (now 4a1). North (SCBI 39) largely adopts the Burns classification, but reverses the order and adds a further variety (4a2). The details of the North classification are reproduced below.


North Classification (SCBI 39)
4a1 Crown and face of 3g2 with new short hair punches. Square irregular initial cross. Tall straight-sided uprights to the lettering with marked serifs. Narrow N. Often a backward tilt to S. Scroll-tailed R. Out-turned foot to letter h. Large commas.
4a2 Similar to 4a1 with flatter, neater crown of 3g3, which becomes damaged. Face, hair and lettering similar to 4a1. Only half a serif on dexter arm of initial cross. A mule with a 3g reverse exists.
4a3 Spread crown with large neat, realistic side fleurs. More oval face with longer and more detailed hair. Thick irregular initial cross. Normal sized lettering having thicker uprights with serifs. Very large letter S.
4a4 New crown with taller central fleur. Square or oval face. Hair normally from the same punches as 4a3 but transitional coins have the new hair and drapery of 4b. Large regular initial cross. Lettering of good style with incurved uprights. S and N of normal size. Wedge-tailed R. Inturned foot to h. Letter A often unbarred. Shorter commas. A mule with 4a3 reverse exists.