Author Topic: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?  (Read 4367 times)

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Offline asm

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Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« on: May 03, 2009, 08:46:37 AM »
This pair has been offered to me as being a rupee and 1/2 Rupee of Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan III.
The date on the 1 Rupee coin seems to be 118X (may be an error for 117X) and the name reads Shah Jehan.
The 1/2 Rupee seems to show a date which I am unable to read.
Is it possible to attribute these coins specifically to the said ruler ar is there any scope of error. The coins are quite rare and the asking rate quite high.
Please help.

Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Oesho

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 02:13:12 PM »
The accession date of Shah Jahan III is 08 Rabi II 1173AH (29-11-1759) and deposition 29 Safar 1174AH (09-10-1760). Shah Jahan III ruled less than one year (moon as well as solar year). Correct dates for this ruler are  therefore 1173/Ry.Ahd and 1174/Ry.Ahd.
There are coins of Surat mint in his name with curious Hijri dates.
I have requested Richie, to add the images of two coins below:
1)   Rupee Shah Jahan III, mint Surat, AH117(1,2,3, 4 or 6)/Ry.Ahd. The Hijri date looks like 1171, but this can’t be correct and most probably might be a 3 or 4. However a 6 could also be possible, particular as there exist coins with later dates.
2)   Rupee Shah Jahan III, mint Surat, AH1180/Ry.Ahd. This is a most curious date as by that time we right the 7th or 8th regnal year of Shah Alam II. Who was responsible for the issue of this coin? Imitating the mint name on coins is not a novelty in India, it happened very often. The pseudo mint name Shahjahanabad was used by many issuing authorities, from Jaisalmir to Maratha mints like Bagalkot. Therefore I suggest that the rupees of Shah Jahan III of Surat mint, with the later dates, were issued by another authority than the the Nawab of Surat.
A neighbouring State issuing copper coins in the name of Shah Jahan III is Bhaunagar, even up to 1825 (see C#15b, which coin is a clear imitation of a Surat issue too, rf. KM#218.2). Bhaunagar is located right opposite Surat on the Gulf of Cambay. I presume that this may be a reasonable candidate. The British struck rupees with the mint name Surat at Bombay, why not Bhaunagar had Surat rupees struck at their own mint too?. The copper falus are all in the name of Shah Jahan III, so one would expect the same for the rupees.
This is my personal presumption and I have not yet been able to prove it by contemporary records or so, but it is worth looking into that direction.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 09:06:47 PM by Rangnath »

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 10:48:02 PM »
The deductive process was impressive Oesho. I once thought that the question of who was responsible for the issue of a coin was a simple matter. No longer!
richie

Online Figleaf

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2009, 02:27:15 AM »
I think the date on Oesho's top coin is most likely to be 1176, in view if the character spacing.

May we assume that Amit's rupee is dated 1180 (another number than 0 would have left a trace on the coin, I think)? I can only see the first two digits on the half rupee...

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

Offline asm

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 07:30:27 AM »
I am confused. I was only looking for a coin to fill in a gap created in my collection. I had a few coins which were, as I thought, issues of Shah Jehan III, Surat, but an earlier discussion caused me to retink the matter and I was left with a blank. Please confirm whether this could be used to fill the gap in my collection of Mughal coins or whether I should keep these also out of this.

Oesho,
Thank you for the lovely and informative article. What I thought was just plain date error (as the traders and Dealers here have us believe), you have gone about the matter like a Sherlock Holmes.... I sincearly appriciate your inputs and even to the point of being repetative, I say once again that I have increased my knowledge and interest in coins many fold. It has gone up so much that my wife complains that coins are my first love. She comes a distant second...
Should the same theory also apply to other date errors beyond the emperors known lifetime? In case of dates that fall within the known life of an emperor but not listed in the standard catalogue, is it safe to assume that they are not unpublished dates but more likely to be an issue of some state.
Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Online Figleaf

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 11:30:10 PM »
I think you should take that decision yourself, Amit. Just what are you collecting? These are definitely coins, Indian coins, an Indian rupee and half rupee of the Mughal era. If that's what you are collecting, they fit in your collection.

It is not clear who the issuing authority was and when the coins were issued. You may decide to trust the text, which makes it a Mughal issue, or you may trust the date, which makes it a feudal state issue. If you trust the date, Oesho has put up a pretty smart reasoning of who the issuer could be, but he also warns that there's no certainty. Does that fit into your collecting interest?

There's also the question of what you find interesting. If you find an imitation of a Mughal coin interesting, it fits in your collection. My point is, no one can decide for you what your interests are.

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

Offline Oesho

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2009, 12:15:03 AM »
Should the same theory also apply to other date errors beyond the emperors known lifetime? In case of dates that fall within the known life of an emperor but not listed in the standard catalogue, is it safe to assume that they are not unpublished dates but more likely to be an issue of some state.
Amit

Dear Amit, You can't generalize, particularly not in Indian numismatics. Date errors may occur, but you need to be careful with their interpretation. Mistakes can easily be made.
As pointed out in the above situation, were there is a  presumably correct Hijri date, combined with a frozen regnal year. This makes someone suspicious. There are in the Mughal series coins with posthumous dates, which are absolutely correct and belong to the Imperial series. It was sometimes not clear who was the successor and therefore the dating of the former Emperor continued. On other occasions when the coronation is much delayed the coins were struck in the Princely name. On one occasion even with the Ry of his predecessor.

The use of mint names by other issuing authorities is well known. The mint name Surat may also be found some issues of the Bonsla Rajas of Nagpur. For Najibabad, for instance,  there are at least two parallel series issued by different authorities and the number of different authorities using the imperial mint name of Shahjahanabad can probably not be counted on the fingers of both hands.

Offline asm

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2009, 11:39:54 AM »
Oesho and Peter,
Thanks for the information. My collection is based on Indian Coins only. Till recently, I collected Mughals, British India including Precidencies, Indian States in the area around Gujarat and Republic India  (since joining this forum, I have expanded my collection to cover other IPS and now also plan to add Sutanate Coins). There is overlap in the coins of the period of the end of the Mughal era and the bigining of the British as well as States. The coin above illustrates this. My question was: should the coins be housed  with the Mughal Coins or IPS? As Oesho mentioned, there is all the possibility of this issue not being minted by the Nawab of Surat (and hence qualify to be a Mughal issue). It is an IPS issue which, with a ? can be housed with the coins of Bhaunagar. I believe, it may require explanations when some one sees the coin there. I was really confused as (as Richie mentioned) I believed that attributing Mughal coins was a very simple matter.
Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline asm

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 08:43:43 AM »
Oesho,
I congratulate you on the beautiful article in the issue 200 of the ONS on these coins.

Further to the above discussions and your article where you have given reasons to attribute these coins to an entity other than the Nawab of Surat. You have mentioned, with detailed reasoning, that these could have been struck by the rulers of Bhavnagar. However reading that article, I get a view that these were not official issues of Bhaunagar State as were the copper coins shown in the article. These were (most likely) clandestine issues, may be in debased metal, issued to make a profit. In simple terms, these were counterfit issues. So should these be classified as contemporary counterfit issues under Mughal coins or should they be classified as issues of IPS Bhaunagar (which they officially are not).
Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Husain Makda

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2012, 06:55:55 PM »
Here are my coins to add the confusion,
Blessed by the Masters.

Offline Oesho

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2012, 01:37:43 AM »
Quote
Further to the above discussions and your article where you have given reasons to attribute these coins to an entity other than the Nawab of Surat. You have mentioned, with detailed reasoning, that these could have been struck by the rulers of Bhavnagar. However reading that article, I get a view that these were not official issues of Bhaunagar State as were the copper coins shown in the article. These were (most likely) clandestine issues, may be in debased metal, issued to make a profit. In simple terms, these were counterfit issues. So should these be classified as contemporary counterfit issues under Mughal coins or should they be classified as issues of IPS Bhaunagar (which they officially are not).

I would not class them as counterfeits. They differ enough from the official issues of the Nawab of Surat (mark in the loop of ‘seen’ of Jalus). A popular trade coin is bound to be copied. Several examples occur in Indian numismatics. Think of the rupees of Shahjahanabad mint, copied by Mewar (Udaipur) or Jaisalmer. In fact even de British copied the Surat rupee at their mint at Mombay. The Nawab of Bhaunagar probably also wanted to have his part of the cake.  Despite that it may have been illegal in the eyes of the British, it most probably proved to be a lucrative activity, and therefore would not make much publicity about it. It is different for copper. Every authority could strike copper coins, there was no particular permission required for it.
Therefore I would attribute the non-Surat issues provisionally to Bhauvnagar.

Offline Husain Makda

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Re: Mughal Shah Jehan III, Surat?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2012, 03:39:12 AM »
Thankyou Oesho for explaining this topic with facts.
Blessed by the Masters.