Author Topic: Ilkhan, Abu Sa'id (1305-1335AD), A rare pictorial Fals, Arzinjan mint.  (Read 1097 times)

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Offline THCoins

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Yesterday i went to a local coin fair. Not really much of interest to an ancient oriental collector unfortunately. However, i did get a handfull of new low-cost coins there to keep me occupied during spare time for the next few weeks.

I encountered this coin amongst a group of common jitals, both the bull and horseman and the horseman varieties.
The horseman side at first resembles the Ghorid of Khwarezmshah horseman jitals. However, i thought the Arab text around the head was odd. The style looks later and more Western, but i could not pinpoint it at first glance.
The other side had been judged by the seller as Arab script. There is the end of an Arab word at the left. But the major design element at this side is clearly a bird standing right, looking backwards. Now this certainly does not fit the common jitals. There is an oblique void through the body of the bird. This is not wear. This is the exact region where the body of the horse is located on the other side. So this is likely a strike weakness, where there was not enough metal to fill the dies at this spot. There is some slight corrosion near the beak of the bird.

My curiosity was awakened, and as the coin cost next to nothing, i bought it just for fun.
I thought the combination "Arab" "horseman" and "bird" would be enough to attribute the specimen swiftly. That was an underestimation. Also using alternatives as "horserider", "eagle", "falcon", "hawk" as search terms was not succesfull with all the dynasties i could think of upto the Seljuks.
This morning i concluded i was not getting nowhere. I decided to put it here in the unidentified section to get some help.
To do this, i made some pictures of both sides. Looking at the enlarged pictures on the screen i saw some details i had missed before in hand. As around the horseman's head there is some Arab text. I judged the part in front of his head to be the end of "Sultan" which is pretty generic. I could not decode the part behind his head. The photo's revealed that there was also a part starting above the head. This started with "Abu" and continued into the edge of the coin with something that looked very much like "Sa'id".
Now we were getting somewhere, as Abu Sa'id in combination with the style would be very suggestive for a Western issue of Ilkan ruler Abu Sa'id (1305-1335AD), the last ruler of the unified Ilkhan empire.
I'll spare the reader the rest of the search, which still took some hours. But finally i could attribute this coin as a pictorial fals, issued under the rule of Abu Sa'id, from Arzinjan mint (located in Anatolia). The characters to the left of the bird likely are the last part of the mint name.
I believe the type is rare, there's none on Zeno. In the Album checklist this type does not seem to have a seperate number but is grouped under A-2220.

AE 18 mm, 1.64 gr, for ref: Diler 2006, Ab-662.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 02:44:45 PM by THCoins »

Offline Figleaf

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Proof (if proof was needed) that there still is plenty of adventure in coin collecting. Once again, your ability to read the text was decisive in identifying a rarity. Even with identity provided, I got exactly nowhere trying to find a specimen online, so this thread is now a reference for this type.

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

Offline coinlover

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Great find, Anthony ! Congratulations.


Anjan

Offline THCoins

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Thanks !

As this one is a bit out of the scope of my collection it will probably find its way to a more specialized Ilkhan collector.

Anthony

Offline capnbirdseye

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Nice coin & really good find  8), I wish I could go to my local coin show & get a handful of coins as more often than not I get nothing   :'( >:D

Vic

Offline THCoins

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Quote
I wish I could go to my local coin show & get a handful of coins as more often than not I get nothing

But i also certainly know that feeling  :P It does take some effort !
It also helps if some key figures know that you are "one of those guys who likes weird old coins".  ;D