News & Blog


Posted on Thu, 23 September 2004 by Phil Mussell - Coin News

Discovered in a garden in France, over 500 silver coins return to England after 900 years buried under French soil

On 6 October, Spink, the London coin and medal auctioneers, will sell a selection of coins from The Pimprez Hoard, the first time a hoard discovered in France has been officially exported for auction in the UK. Comprising a remarkable array of silver coins and ingots unearthed in the garden of a private home in France, this exceptional offering is expected to fetch more than £50,000, with individual estimates ranging from £100 to £3,000.

Uncovered by chance in 2002, in the small village of Pimprez, near Beauvais, 50 kilometres north of Paris, the hoard is believed to have been buried circa 1140-1145, early in the reign of King Stephen. Although many of the coins are poorly made, they show no signs of wear which suggest they may never have been circulated and may even be the profits from an English estate owned by an absentee Norman landlord.

The majority of the 569 silver coins are fine English Pennies of Henry I (1100-1135) and Stephen (1135-1154) struck at English mints; Spink will offer a selection of 100 of these for sale on 6 October. A remarkable total of 34 English towns are represented including Cambridge, Exeter, Lewes, Hastings, Hereford, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Salisbury and Warwick.

The undoubted highlight of the hoard is the outstanding group of 24 pennies of Henry I’s very rare type XI, dating from around 1115 (estimates £500-£3,000).

The auction will also feature 40 interesting Continental coins from the Pimprez Hoard. A variety of European cities are represented including Metz, Liège, Maastricht and Zurich.

In addition to this superb hoard of coins, a number of small silver ingots were also found. Interestingly, metal analysis has shown that the ingots have a different composition to the coins in the hoard, containing a higher trace gold content. Conservatively priced between £50 and £150, these ingots are visually the most interesting aspect of the hoard to the non-specialist, thus offering a rare opportunity to buy mediaeval objects at very affordable prices.

Auction: Wednesday 6 October at 2pm
Public Viewing: Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 October, 10am - 5pm
Public Enquiries: 020 7563 4000 –
Images: Spink Press Office on 020 7563 4009