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Short Cross Pennies

Class 7

Class 7a1 (1217/18) - Spink 1356A; North 978

Coins of 7a1 have attractive portraits with a well-groomed beard consisting of short, closely spaced strokes. The hair consists of ringlets, three (or rather two and a half) on each side of the head, some of which usually contain pellets. The eyes are teardrop shaped. The lettering is small and neat. The letter A, when present, has angled sides that meet at a point below a wide, protruding top-bar, often of 'bow-tie' shape. There are no stops in the reverse legend, except sometimes within a multiple name.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, Durham, London

7a1 Durham.jpg

Class 7a2 (1218-c.1220) - Spink 1356A; North 978

The bust is generally similar to that of class 7a1, but tends to be rounder, and the beard now consists of long vertical strokes on a broader chin. The hair consists of ringlets, some of which usually contain pellets. The eyes are teardrop shaped. The letter A has angled sides below a protruding top-bar. There are no stops in the reverse legend, except sometimes within a multiple name.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7a2 Canterbury.jpg

Class 7a3 (c.1220-1222) - Spink 1356A; North 978

The bust deteriorates and the chin and mouth begin to move towards the inner circle. The beard is untidy and often less well marked, and pellets tend to be omitted from the hair ringlets. The eyes may be teardrop shaped, oval or annulets. The letter A has angled sides below a protruding top-bar. Bizarrely placed pellets occasionally occur in the reverse legend.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7a3 Canterbury.jpg

Class 7b1 (1222-c.1229) - Spink 1356B; North 979

The bust is similar to that of 7a3. The letter A is now square-topped and, except on a few early coins, M is rendered as H. Hair ringlets do not contain pellets. The eyes may be teardrop shaped or annulets. Bizarrely placed pellets occasionally occur in the reverse legend. (The cross on the crown usually points to the middle or left of the E in the king's name. In the absence of letters A or M, this can help to differentiate 7b1 from 7a3, where the cross usually points further to the right.)


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7b1 Canterbury.jpg

Class 7b2 (c.1229-c.1232) - Spink 1356B; North 979

Coins of 7b2 have a large bust with a pellet on the chin and either one or two broken eyes (from a defective punch). The hair ringlets may or may not contain pellets. The letter A is square-topped, and M is rendered as H. Bizarrely placed pellets rarely occur in the reverse legend.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7b2 Canterbury.jpg

Class 7b3 (c.1232-c.1234) - Spink 1356B; North 979

Coins of 7b3 have a square, chinless bust and either one or two broken eyes (from a defective punch). The hair ringlets do not contain pellets. The letter A is square-topped, and M is rendered as H. Bizarrely placed pellets rarely occur in the reverse legend.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7b3 Canterbury.jpg

Class 7b4 (c.1234-c.1236) - Spink 1356B; North 979

Coins of type 7b4 have a square, chinless bust with unbroken annulet eyes. The hair ringlets do not contain pellets. Long side whiskers sometimes give the beard an unkempt appearance. The letter A is square-topped, and M is rendered as H. The coins are only distinguishable from those of 7c1 by their smaller lettering.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7b4 London.jpg

Class 7c1 (c.1236-c.1240) - Spink 1356C; North 980

Coins of class 7c1 have generally similar busts to those of 7b4, however they have larger lettering than their 7b predecessors, with long fronts to C and E. The eyes are annulets. The hair ringlets do not contain pellets. The letter A is sometimes chevron-barred.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7c1 London.jpg

Class 7c2 (c.1240-c.1242) - Spink 1356C; North 980

Coins of class 7c2 have the large lettering of 7c1, but a neater portrait with a more oblong face. The eyes are annulets, but often contain a pellet, which on worn coins can cause them to appear solid. The hair ringlets may also contain pellets. The letter A is sometimes chevron-barred.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7c2 Canterbury.jpg

Class 7c3 (c.1242) - Spink 1356C; North 980

Coins of type 7c3 have a portrait with a pointed beard and a minute pellet in each hair ringlet. The eyes are annulets. The lettering is large, with a tall, narrow N. The initial cross is thick with hairline serifs.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London

7c2 Canterbury.jpg

7a Note

Mass (SCBI 56) reverses the order of North's first two sub-classes of 7a, labelling them 7a1 and 7a2 (rather than 7aB and 7aA respectively), and amalgamates North's 7aC and 7aD into 7a3.

General Note

Attributing a class 7 coin to its correct sub-class can sometimes prove challenging, even to an experienced student of the short cross series. The best approach in such cases is progressively to narrow the range of possible sub-classes on the basis of the most objective criteria, and then to review the full descriptions for those that are 'shortlisted' and finalise the attribution. A guide to this approach can be accessed via the link below:

 

The Sub-Classification of Class 7 - Further Guidance