Kuchaman, feudatory State of Jodhpur, INO Queen Victoria, 1863, Km 286

Started by Rangnath, October 03, 2007, 06:09:15 PM

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Rangnath

Forgive me, my subject titles have all of the charm of an "ISO" in a dating promo.
On the other hand, I do have quite a bit of passion for hammered coins. At least my wife has no need to be jealous, I think.
This one seems delightfully well centered, at least in terms of aesthetic appearance. 
Is the date 1863 AD? 
richie

Rangnath

I found a coin very much identical in size and weight to this one in the Fitzwilliam collection, though its date was 1864. It listed the ruler as Anonymous.  Hmmm.  The coin was struck in the name of the Queen of Great Britain (Victoria, 1837 to 1901).  No name was given for the princely state, but "Kuchaman" was listed as the subseries. Perhaps this is where the coin was found? I don't really understand the designation "subseries".
I looked up Kuchaman in Google and found it to be a city founded in the late 1700s by Thakur Zalim Singh in the current state of Rajasthan.  Could this be the same "Kuchaman"?  I also discovered that "Untouched by the forces of commercialization, Kuchaman exists in a state of blissful ignorance." (http://www.aathitya.com/destinations/history/kuchaman.html)
Well, that seems to be in line with "Anonymous".  Is there a connection?  And is the state of Ignorance really Blissful? And are the good people of Kuchaman really devoid of all knowledge?  If the answer is yes to that series of questions, I'm going there!
Further research revealed that the 64 villages that once belonged to the Thakur (kind of like a grand landlord or baron, a step below Raja) constituted Nawalgarh and was a part of Jaipur state at some time later in history(?).  Nawalgarh produced its own stamps.  But I don't know if they minted their own coins. 
I must say,
this rupee is quite beautiful, perhaps merely the luck of the strike or perhaps from intention. I hope that an Arabic reader will comment on this.
richie

Figleaf

This is a coin struck in the name of Kuchawan (KM lists it with a W), a feudatory state of Jodhpur. Its main fortress seems to be called Kuchaman (with an M) and its ruler was known as the thakur of Kuchaman. Since you called the pic "rupee unknown", I suspect that it is KM 286. If so, its weight should be between 10.6 and 10.8 gram and its diameter should be 19-20 mm. There are also half rupees, quarter rupees and nazarana (broad, thin plancet) rupees of this type, all dated 1863. The thakur at this time was Kersi Singh, but his name is not on the coins. The obverse tekst is "Victoria Inglistan", the reverse seems to be "Kuchawan dependency of Jodhpur". Most coins are well-centered, but yours is also well (deep) struck.

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

Rangnath

I should be cleaning house but as I recall, the weight of the coin was 10.5 grams.
Great work Peter!
richie

Oesho

Yes, the coin has been already well attributed to Kuchaman a feudatory State of Jodhpur.
Kuchaman (this is the correct spelling).
Kuchaman obtained permission to strike coins during the reign of Maharaja Man Singh (1803-1843) of Jodhpur. The initial issues of this State were close copies of the rupees that were struck at Ajmer struck in the name of Shah Alam II and bear the date 1203/Ry.31.
When in 1863 Kuchaman was visited by the British political agent and he also saw the mint at work, he instructed that the legend on the coins was not correct and should bear the name of the British overlord Queen Victoria. Subsequently the coins from that day onwards bear the following legend:
Malikah Mu?azam Kween Victoria Englistan wa Hindustan / Zarb Kuchaman illaqah Jodhpur sanah Iswi 1863. (Her Majesty Queen Victoria of England and India / Struck at Kuchaman, in the State of Jodhpur, in the year of Jesus, 1863)
The coins were much used in paying largess to temples or on occasion of marriage ceremonies. As the rupee is of less value than the Bijay Shahi rupee, the amount of the gift is magnified by 25% when speaking of the number of rupees presented or spent.

Rangnath

I hadn't realised that there might be an advantage to the consumer for holding underweight rupees.  Your account makes a lot of sense! Thanks for it.
richie

Figleaf

The expression "sanah Iswi" is highly surprising and amusing. Is this an isolated exampe, or are there more? What an elegant way to deal with a foreign religion. In addition, it beats A.D. for accuracy.

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

Salvete

Hello, Figleaf.  You are not the first to have an issue with the "A.D." dating system, relating, among other things, to the accuracy - which you mentioned.  Many people have taken to using the initials "C.E." instead (meaning "Of Our Common Era" thus doing away with both the religious connotations, and the inaccuracy at one stroke.  Similarly BC becomes BCE.  It hasn't caught on very well, except among followers of certain religions and particularly in the US of A, and I think we are stuck with AD, unfortunately.
Salvete
Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.

Figleaf

Thanks for digging up this thread and giving me another chance to admire a good coin, Salvete.

My approach is that language is for communication, not precision. If everyone understands AD, fine, even if it is confusing in relation to BC and the concept of trinity. If few people understand CE (I suppose that would be EC in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian), why use it (though I must admit that it's interesting to hear that there are people thinking about it)? If many American want to call a cent a penny, well, that's their problem, but I know what they mean. If the British insist on using the same word for the king's hat and a 5 shilling piece I can use the context to find out what they mean. On this coin, though, there is no abbreviation, no confusing use of terms, but an innovative, yet perfectly understandable expression that delighted me.

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

Oesho

Quote from: Figleaf on October 08, 2007, 11:18:24 AM
The expression "sanah Iswi" is highly surprising and amusing. Is this an isolated exampe, or are there more? What an elegant way to deal with a foreign religion. In addition, it beats A.D. for accuracy.
It is not an isolated example. There are a few more examples were coins are dated in AH and AD.
I know of examples of Kishangarh and also of Tonk (Y#29 & 29a).
On these copper pice you see on the obverse below the Coat of Arms, Sanah 1250 Hijri and on the reverse Sanah 1932 I(swy). Iswy here is abbreviated to the first letter only, which was also done on the Kishangarh coins. There may be a few other examples, but I can't just recollect these.

Rangnath

Thanks for adding to the thread.
BINGO!  :o
I've got a very readable example of Km 29a!
richie

RG

My specimen..Hoping this is Kuchaman itself..

Figleaf

This is an old thread and I have become a lot more wary of bleating identifications of Indian coins when there are so many real experts on this site. However, I would say that your coin is the same as the one in the first post. Congratulations.

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

Oesho

Yes, no doubt an issue of Kuchaman as described earlier in the thread.