It dates from c.1148-52 during the 20-year succession crisis that followed the death of Henry I’s only male heir. His choice of queen, his daughter Matilda, was challenged by his nephew Stephen.
The coin was struck in the name of Robert de Stuteville, one of the rebel barons who took advantage of fighting in the south of England to seize power in the north. Custodian of Knaresborough Castle, he also owned the town of Kirkbymoorside, founded the nunneries of Keldholme and Rosedale, and was a benefactor of Rievaulx Abbey.
The silver penny, the first to be found from this era in a century (since 1889) and the first example of its kind at auction since the 1950s, is one of just five Stuteville coins known. It shows a medieval knight on horseback brandishing a sword alongside the inscription Rodbertvs d Stv.
It was offered for sale at Spink as part of the firm’s Numismatic e-Circular sale on June 26 titled The Penny: From Actium to the Anarchy (31BC- 1154AD).
Estimated at up to £6000, it sold for £14,000 to a private British collector.
The buyer's premium was 20%.