Offa, King of Mercia

© National Portrait Gallery, London

2 Likes voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Buy a print Buy a greetings card Make a donation Close

Offa, King of Mercia

by Unknown artist
silver penny, circa 796
5/8 in. (16 mm) diameter
Given by Richard Cyril Lockett in memory of the late Richard Cyril Lockett, 1960
Primary Collection
NPG 4152

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist or producer associated with 6577 portraits.

This portraitback to top

In the Anglo-Saxon era, portraits on coins were intended as emblems of kingship rather than individual likenesses. However, they demonstrate how leaders could reinforce their claim to rule by disseminating their own image on objects that were used and exchanged on a daily basis. The ruler’s portrait also provided confidence in the legitimacy of the coinage.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Cannadine, Sir David (Introduction); Cooper, Tarnya; Stewart, Louise; MacGibbon, Rab; Cox, Paul; Peltz, Lucy; Moorhouse, Paul; Broadley, Rosie; Jascot-Gill, Sabina, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, 2018 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA, 7 October 2018 -3 February 2019. Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia, 16 March - 14 July 2019.), p. 36
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 467

Comments back to top

We are currently unable to accept new comments, but any past comments are available to read below.

If you need information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service . Please note that we cannot provide valuations. You can buy a print or greeting card of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at around £6 for unframed prints, £16 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Use this image button, or contact our Rights and Images service. We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.