Author Topic: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jitals  (Read 2053 times)

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Offline THCoins

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To add to the display of coinage of Khwarezmshah Ala ud-Din Muhammad here an example of another class of his coins, the Elephant Jital. Likely the elephant was seen as a token of military power. However, the elephants as displayed on these are usually mainly cute in a naive manner.

Obverse: Elephant facing left, above in Arab the name of the minting place Kurzuwan.
Reverse: Arab legend in three lines: Al-Sultan Al- / Azam Muhammad / Bin Sultan.

Bi 14 mm, 2.22 gr, Tye#228
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 03:09:12 PM by THCoins »

Offline Ancientnoob

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jital
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 02:29:22 AM »
Excellent, I was looking at acquiring one of these. They can be had for not a lot of money and they are just oozing history!
"Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it."

- Publius Syrius

Offline THCoins

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jital
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 09:02:00 AM »
Totally agree ! One of the reasons i focussed on the jitals is because of the historic significance. Though this is largely unknown in the west. And, because it is somewhat of a niche not many people are interested in, there's a lot to be found in the 2-10 dollar range.

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jital
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2015, 12:00:01 PM »
Beauty! I watched one of these recently on Ebay but it was too worn to be worth the money
Vic

Offline THCoins

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jital
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 01:39:12 PM »
See these coming by once in a while. Indeed often quite worn. As usual, also this one is a bit of a compromize. I wanted a clear elephant and mintname. I had to take the partly faded text side at the downside. But for 6 euro's i am happy with it as a quite nice "typical" specimen.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jital
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2016, 05:40:42 PM »
Just a small addition to an old thread. In the opening thread i showed an Elephant Jital of Ala ud-din Muhammad of Kurzuwan.
There is a very similar cointype from the same mint, also with elephant, but now with a rider holding a spear.
The mintname "Kurzuwan" is visible in Arab below the elephant.
The reverse has an Arab text in four lines whcih unfortunately is a bit worn in the centre but still quite readable:
 "As-Sultan / Al-a'zam 'Ala / ud-duniya wa ud-din / Muhammad bin Sultan".
AE 16 mm, 2.49 gr. Tye#227

Apart from the nice design this type is numismatically quite interesting. For once, because it is one among a quite large number of different cointypes issued under the same ruler from this mint.
Secondly, the design of this coin seems to be a direct continuation of the coinage of the earlier Ghorid rulers Ghiyath ud-din Muhammad (1163-1203) and Ghyath-ud-din Mahmud bin Muhammad (1206-1212). These can be found in the Jital catalog under Tye#134 and Tye#147. (For an online copy of the line drawings of the type catalog look here). Even the text on these at first glance is very similar. (Tye#134 text = "As-Sultan / Al-a'zam Ghiyath / ud-duniya wa ud-din / Muhammad bin Sam"). That may be the reason that i have seen these types mixed up in attributions several times. These earlier types bear no mintname on the coins. Based on indirect evidence and earlier literature mr. Tye attributes them to Shafurqan mint. In my opinion, Kurzuwan would be an alternative candidate.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jitals
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2016, 03:08:58 PM »
In the index are now over 20 different coins issued under Kwarezm Shah Ala al-Din Muhammad. but once in a while i can still add another.
The coin below looks very much similar tot the coin in the opening post in that it is an Elephant Jital. Main difference is that this one does not have the mint above the elephant, but a decorative element. This is included in the Tye catalog unde nr 231. Mr Tye describes it as "ornament (or mint ?)". In this specimen it seems very much unlikely that a text was intended.
The text side has some wear, but is still well readable. The elephant side i think displays a very nice contrasting picture.

AE 15 mm, 2.25 gr, Tye#231.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jitals
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2016, 06:29:38 PM »
Fascinating coins. The second has a soldier with a weapon. You describe it as a spear, but that is somewhat suspect. Spears are OK on a horse, but on an elephant, they have to be much longer to reach the ground and fast become too heavy. Look again and you will see a barb to the left. Also, the soldier is holding the shaft parallel to the ground. The weapon is not for use against infantry, but against another elephant rider. The objective is to hook into the other rider's harness and drag him from the elephant, so that he can meet an unpleasant end. You could describe it as a harpoon, rather than a spear, but it functions like a halberd without the ax.

With that insight, the ornament on the third coin becomes clear: the grappling hook is at left. It's the rider with his harpoon/halberd, with the middle part missing.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jitals
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2016, 06:46:10 PM »
Peter, you may be correct that it is not a spear. But if it is an elephant goad then it might even not be a reference to warfare. As these are also used in elephant training by the mahout.

Anthony

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Khwarezm shah Ala ud-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), Elephant Jitals
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2016, 11:54:00 PM »
Excellent point, but you are probably better placed to answer it than me. The question becomes, who is the rider? If it is the ruler, he has an attendant to manage the elephant so he doesn't need an ankusha. He does need a weapon. If the rider is a religious figure, the ankusha is a pretty good symbol of control. While the point has the right shape for a goad, the shaft looks too long to me, but long enough to reach over to another elephant rider.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.