Author Topic: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer  (Read 1065 times)

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Offline saro

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Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« on: August 22, 2017, 03:51:24 PM »
Large and heavy civic copper : 19,82g / 27mm/ thickness : 4,5mm
the obverse is overstruck and the mintname is not easy to decipher but reads (from bottom): "zarb falus Rasht"
The design "lion over seizing a deer" is also known for Urumi; Rasht has struck an incredible number of different designs on its civic coppers : flowers, lion, lion & sun, rabbit, fishes, duck, flying bird, elephant, gazelle, colt etc...
"All I know is that I know nothing" (Socrates)

Offline aws22

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 04:59:50 PM »
Nice large coin; Rasht is clearly shown on top of the second photo.
Thank you for posting this nice coin.

Maythem
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 11:55:43 PM »
From your description, it doesn't look like the animals of the zodiac. Some may even have been rarely seen in Rasht. Have you formed any ideas about the motivation to put these animals up on coins? Is there a common theme?

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

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 11:01:20 AM »
This is a bit different to the usual for this type, i think the Lion on this one is  not so much depicted as seizing the Deer but more likely riding on it's back !
Vic

Offline saro

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 11:22:24 AM »
This is a bit different to the usual for this type, i think the Lion on this one is  not so much depicted as seizing the Deer but more likely riding on it's back !
You are right Vic, this lion seems to be very peaceful  ;)... I just copy the comment of Bahram Alaedini
"All I know is that I know nothing" (Socrates)

Offline saro

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 01:19:11 PM »
From your description, it doesn't look like the animals of the zodiac. Some may even have been rarely seen in Rasht. Have you formed any ideas about the motivation to put these animals up on coins? Is there a common theme?
The animals of the Zodiac are indeed a part of the source of inspiration of iranian dies engravers;  these various designs are often characteristic of a province and were intended to be easily identified by people;  the frequent values changes of copper coins (which were not state coins but were struck by governors) have probably induced so numerous different designs ! most of coins were re-melted which explains that surviving examplars are so few...
A comprehensive catalogue of iranian civic coppers would be a fine dream but, I think, would be a chimera... with no doubt, the day after its publication dozens of new type will appear ??? ::)
"All I know is that I know nothing" (Socrates)

Offline aws22

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 05:42:08 PM »
Dear Peter, Vic and Saro, there is a story behind the deer & lion and the Imam Reza. The story is about a small deer fell in a trap set by a hunter and and when the Imam saw the deer, it requested the Imam to help her to see her mother and will return back. So the Imam asked the hunter (who did not recognize the Imam) to agree to the deer's request and the Imam will hold himself as a prisoner (guarantor) until the deer returns. After a short time the deer returned with its mother and the hunter was shocked to see that and asked the Imam who he was and the Imam told who he was; as a result of that the hunter freed the deer. In many Iranian houses, shops & bookshops, you see paintings and sculptures illustrating the above story. Coins and Persian carpets being one way of portraying the above story.

Maythem
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 06:07:27 PM by aws22 »
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 07:13:15 PM »
A very  nice story maythem !
Vic

Offline aws22

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 08:02:47 PM »
Thank you Vic, I liked your remark " i think the Lion on this one is not so much depicted as seizing the Deer but more likely riding on it's back ! ", which supports the story. With reference to this story, Imam Reza is called " the protector of the deer" and some people call him with this as a title "guarantor of deer" (ضامن آهو).

Maythem
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 09:45:56 PM by aws22 »
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".

Offline saro

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 08:51:15 PM »
I join Vic and appreciate this nice story.
I paid a look at internet and haven't found any reference to a lion in the different versions of this tale in which it is question of the Imam Reza, a hunter and a deer ???



"All I know is that I know nothing" (Socrates)

Offline aws22

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2017, 09:24:27 PM »
Thank you Saro for your comments on this story which is known to most Iranian and non-Iranian Shiite families. Most of the references on this story are Shiite websites which I am not going to refer to but the following link refers to a painting on this subject:
http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/222132/Mahmud-Farshchian-s-Guarantor-of-the-Gazelle-2-unveiled-in
As for the lion, I agree with you that it is not related to Imam Reza.

Maythem
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 09:54:40 PM by aws22 »
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".

Offline saro

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 10:54:00 PM »
Tank you very much Maythem  :)
For this coin, Bahram Alaedini, p.95, says "lion seizing stag"  (not sure it could be a stag ? ).
"All I know is that I know nothing" (Socrates)

Offline aws22

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 11:55:04 PM »
Thank you Saro, it could be, but I was trying to point out why Iranians use the deer on their paintings, carpets or possibly coins. One of the reasons could be the "hunter and deer" story.

Maythem
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".

Offline saro

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 04:40:40 PM »
Another pleasant design here ("lion & cub")
"All I know is that I know nothing" (Socrates)

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Civic copper of Rasht / lion & deer
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2017, 12:33:43 PM »
I think this discussion was very useful. We know of a few scenes where a big cat kills its prey on the civic coppers of Afghanistan and Iran. Obviously, these scenes are symbolic and stand for a strong ruler, taking vicious care of his enemies.

That's fine, but it should not close our eyes for the fact that similar scenes may actually depict a different symbolism. The imam Reza story is a good example. The message of the imam in the story is: "this is also a life and a being that is loved". The upshot of that thought is halal slaughter. While the symbolism on official, state coins is more likely to use (militaristic) propaganda it is up in the air if the symbolism on a state coin is military or religiously inspired.

Imagine the scene, the government's palace in Rasht. The mint master (mm), accompanied by a travelling die cutter (dc)  has come with an example of the new coin to the city governor (cg) to ask for his approval. A pair of guards with long axes stands beside the governor, making the visitors nervous.

cg: What is it? Hurry. I have important work to do. (Thinks of lunch awaiting)
mm: This man has cut the new coins...
cg: All right, cut his neck (guards start to move)
mm: Nonono, he has cut the dies so we can make new coins your venerousness!
cg: Why didn't you say so at once? Misunderstandings make me hungry.
mm: A million excuses, lord of militias and merchants. Here is what the new coins look like (hands a coin to a guard, who brings it to the governor)
cg: Nice! I like the giant lion. It's obviously me, as it's also a bit heavy set. It makes me hungry.
mm: Thank you, your gracious lordship. We will start making them immediately.
cg: Wait! What's the deer doing there?
dc: Mmmph... (wanted to speak of mercy until the mint master planted his elbow firmly in the die cutter's stomach)
mm: It is there to show people how you treat those who cross your path, your extended lordship.
cg: True. I enjoy a good deer steak. Or glazed deer tongue. Anyway, I am hungry. Go!
mm: Peace be with you, oh just ruler of this lucky city.
dc: (looking yellow, mumbles something unintelligible, angry-faced as governor rushes out, keeping the coin.)

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