Anlaf Guthfrithsson, Penny, 939-41
Ex Lucien La Riviere (Oct 2002)
Ex Dr. Jacob Y. Terner
Ex Millennia Collection (May 2008) sold for $33,000 not including buyer’s fees

Anlaf Guthfrithsson was the Viking King of Dublin who fought in the Battle of Brunanburh in 937 alongside Constantine II and Owen I against Aethelstan, King of England. The infamous battle of the 10th Century was not a victorious campaign for Anlaf but he survived the conflict and successfully seized York and parts of the East Midlands in the aftermath of Aethelstan’s death in 939. The ‘Raven Penny’ was minted during this occupation.

The obverse legend means ‘King Anlaf’ in Old Norse and is one of the earliest surviving texts in this language. The use of Old Norse language instead of Latin coupled with the raven image, associated with the Norse god Odin, is a strong indication that the Vikings were declaring their independence in the British Isles.