A rare coin is set to be unveiled at the Malmesbury’s Athelstan Museum in the new year.

The coin depicts the crowned head of King Athelstan, who reigned from 924 to 939 and named Malmesbury his capital, and will be showcased by the museum that bears his name in late January.

It was struck at the mint of Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and is unique because it is the only Wallingford penny that features Athelstan’s portrait along with his extended title, the King of all Britons.

Volunteer and trustee Jonathan Tucker spotted the coin at auction and convinced the museum to purchase it for an undisclosed fee after realising the attraction did not possess any items from the period of Athelstan’s reign.

“I saw this coin come up and was given permission to bid for it on the museum’s behalf," he said.

“The museum is delighted to have acquired an object with a direct link to this key figure for Malmesbury’s history and after whom our museum is named. It is particularly pleasing to have one with his image.” 

Susan Mockler, the museum’s vice chair of trustees, added: “The museum is looking forward to displaying the coin as soon as possible in the New Year. It will be greatly admired for the historic importance it has to our town.”