As the year has panned out, one could be easily forgiven for wanting to look forward rather than back. With 2021 heralding the 1,150th Anniversary of the coronation of King Alfred of Wessex, it gives Spink great pleasure to do both by presenting one of the larger offerings of his coinage to appear in recent years, alongside a succession of truly rare and iconic numismatic treasures from the most formative years in the history of the British isles. Migrant influxes, economic turmoil and political fragmentation – this may sound like our own times – but the same is true in AD 871, and just over the horizon? The Vikings are coming…literally.

‘Offa’s Remorse’: The martyrdom of an East Anglian king

‘Finding the aforesaid head a stumbling block to the feet however, he wondered what it was, because his foot was tangled up in the head’s long golden curls. And touching it more carefully, he realised that it was the head of a decapitated man. And intuitively he realised that this was the head of someone holy, and a young man. And when his hands had been steeped in blood, and sometimes in the place where his eyes had been, he put the blood on his face. And immediately his sight was restored.’

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