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Short Cross Pennies

Class 1

Class 1a1 (1180) - Spink 1343; North 962

 

The head of class 1a1 is small with prominent cheekbones and a variable number of wiry hair-curls, of which there are usually more to the right than the left. The defining feature of the class is a dot-dash outer circle on both obverse and reverse, but unfortunately the circles are sometimes off the flan or unclear. If this is the case, the following diagnostic features may be helpful. The letter N is always of the three-seriffed type, and M, when present, is of the rounded type. C and E are usually square, and the king's title is usually divided thus RE/X. The earliest coins of the class, uniquely in the series, have a cross pattée central crown ornament.

Mints: Exeter, London, Northampton, Wilton, Winchester, York

1a1 Exeter.jpg

Class 1a2 (1180) - Spink 1343; North 962

 

The head of class 1a2 has a less primitive appearance than that of 1a1, but with similar wiry hair-curls. The cheekbones are usually less prominent, and the eyes stare straight ahead. The main diagnostic change concerns the outer circles, which are now simply beaded on both obverse and reverse. The forms of the letters N, M, C and E remain as described for class 1a1, but the king's title is now usually divided thus R/EX. There is usually a pellet stop between the two words on the obverse, as is also the case for 1a1.

Mints: Exeter (rev. only), London, Northampton, Wilton, Winchester, York

1a2 London.jpg

Class 1a3 (1180) - Spink 1343; North 962

The head of class 1a3 is similar to that of 1a2. The coins are primarily distinguished from their predecessors by changes to the form of several letters. N acquires a fourth serif on the base of its right-hand upright; the square M makes its first appearance, although the rounded version is more usual; C is now always round, but E occurs in both round and square forms. There is usually a pellet stop between the two words on the obverse, as is also the case for 1a1 and 1a2.

Note! The coin illustrated is a class 1a3/1a2 mule.


Mints: Exeter(?), London, Northampton (rev. only), Wilton(?), Winchester, York (rev. only)

1a3-1a2 London.jpg

Class 1a4 (1180) - Spink 1343A; North 962/1

The head of class 1a4 is similar to that of 1a3. The defining feature of 1a4 is a seriffed X in REX. Only the square M and the round C and E are now found. In some cases it can be unclear whether a coin has a true class 1a4 reverse, or is muled with another 1a sub-class. For convenience, if the obverse has the defining seriffed X, and the reverse lettering meets 1a4 criteria, it is regarded as being of class 1a4. The letter N continues to have four serifs, and is occasionally reverse-barred.

 

Mints: Exeter(?), London, Northampton, Wilton, Winchester, York

 

1a4 London.jpg

Class 1a5 (1180) - Spink 1343A; North 962/1

Coins of class 1a5 lose the seriffed X of 1a4, the main diagnostic feature now being the number of hair-curls on each side of the head. The number on the left ranges between two and six, and the number on the right between three and nine. Some coins that have a 2/5 combination, normally associated with class 1b, will belong to this class, the attribution being based on a less regular arrangement of the curls, and/or the style of the bust. The letter N continues to have four serifs; C and E are always round.


Mints: Exeter, London, Northampton, Wilton, Winchester, York

1a5 Northampton.jpg

Class 1b1 (1180-c.1182) - Spink 1344; North 963

Class 1b marks the point at which the experimental period ended and the design became more standardised. The coins are notable for the high quality of both their design and production. The hair-curls are now in a standard 2/5 configuration with the two on the left arranged one above the other, and the five on the right also arranged vertically with parallel pairs in the top and middle rows, and a single one at the bottom. The letter N has four serifs, which is a key factor in differentiating coins of this class from those of 1b2. M also has four serifs. A pellet stop between the two words on the obverse is present on most coins.


Mints: Carlisle, Exeter, Lincoln, London, Northampton, Oxford, Wilton, Winchester, Worcester, York

1b1 London (2).jpg

Class 1b2 (c.1182-c.1185) - Spink 1344; North 963

Coins of class 1b2 are similar to those of 1b1, but there is a deterioration in both the style of the portrait and the neatness of the lettering. The 2/5 configuration of the hair-curls remains the same, but their arrangement is often less precise. The main diagnostic feature, however, is the letter N, which reverts to the three-serif form last used on class 1a2. M also occasionally has only three serifs. A pellet stop between the two words on the obverse is still usual.


Mints: Carlisle, Exeter, Lincoln, London, Northampton, Oxford, Wilton, Winchester, Worcester, York

1b2 London.jpg

Class 1c (c.1185-c.1189) - Spink 1345; North 964

Coins of class 1c show a continuation of the decline in quality seen in 1b2. The hair-curls are now often difficult to count, and haphazardly arranged. The deterioration is progressive, however, and it can be difficult to decide whether a particular coin should be attributed to the previous class or the present one. A pellet stop on the obverse is now the exception rather than the rule, but the three-seriffed N remains a diagnostic feature. This can be particularly useful for distinguishing between class 1c and class 2 coins, as the latter revert to the four-seriffed form. The three-seriffed M is now the usual form.


Mints: Carlisle, Exeter, Lincoln, London, Northampton, Oxford, Winchester, Worcester, York

1c London.jpg

1a Note

All the sub-classes of class 1a were struck over a period of just one year. It is inevitable, therefore, that muling between them is very common.

 

1a4 Note

Prior to the present detailed sub-division of class 1a, sub-class 1a4 was designated 1a*.