Author Topic: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins  (Read 16964 times)

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Offline <k>

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Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« on: March 06, 2011, 10:10:22 PM »
In 1932 the young Kingdom of Iraq switched from the Indian rupee to its own currency, the Iraq dinar. The new coins carried a portrait of Faisal I, which was created by Percy Metcalfe. Mr Metcalfe designed the first coins of the Irish Free State, known as the Barnyard Set. He also was responsible for the crowned effigy of George VI.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 09:29:51 PM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 10:12:06 PM »
This text is largely taken from Wikipedia. 

Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi was born in Ta'if (in present-day Saudi Arabia) in 1883, the third son of Hussein bin Ali, the Grand Sharif of Mecca. He grew up in Istanbul and learned about leadership from his father. In 1913 he was elected to the Ottoman parliament as representative of the city of Jeddah.

After the start of the First World War, the Turks, who ruled over the Ottoman Empire, sided with the Germans. When it was discovered that the Turks were plotting to over throw the Sharif and replace him with a rival, Faisal, along with his father and brothers, devised a plan of an Arab revolt against the Turks. For this they needed help. Eventually, in October 1916, Faisal met the British intelligence officer T.E. Lawrence (later known as “Lawrence of Arabia”). The British were already planning to break up the Ottoman Empire for their own purposes after the war.

With the help of Lawrence, Faisal sided with the British army and organised the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire that helped to end the Caliphate. He also worked with the Allies in their conquest of Greater Syria and the capture of Damascus, where he became part of a new Arab government in 1918.

On 7 March 1920, Faisal was proclaimed King of Greater Syria by the Syrian National Congress government of Hashim al-Atassi. In April 1920, the San Remo conference gave France the mandate for Syria, which led to the Franco-Syrian War. In the Battle of Maysalun on 24 July 1920, the French were victorious and Faisal was expelled from Syria. He went to live in the United Kingdom in August of that year.

Meanwhile, the British government, mandate holders in Iraq, were concerned at the unrest in the colony. They decided to step back from direct administration and create a monarchy to head Iraq while they maintained the mandate. Following a rigged plebiscite showing 96% in favour, Faisal was made King of Iraq in August 1921.

As a pan-Arabist, and to cultivate better Iraqi-Syrian relations , Faisal encouraged an influx of Syrian exiles and office-seekers. This influx resulted in much native resentment towards Syrians and Lebanese in Iraq. Faisal also developed desert motor routes from Baghdad to Damascus, and Baghdad to Amman.

In 1932, the British mandate ended and Faisal was instrumental in making his country nominally independent. On 3 October, the Kingdom of Iraq joined the League of Nations. In July 1933, shortly before his death, Faisal went to London to ask the British to limit Jewish migration and land sales in Palestine. He died on September 8, 1933, of a heart attack while staying in Bern, Switzerland. He was succeeded on the throne by his oldest son Ghazi.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 09:06:11 AM »
Great powers getting in, realizing they can't handle the area and setting up a puppet king, rigged elections, ineffectual leadership and resentment in the army. It's déjà voo all over again.

The man has a characteristic head. Seeing it from two sides makes you appreciate the art of Metcalfe.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 12:40:22 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Ghazi bin Faisal was born in 1912. He became the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq from 1933 to 1939, having been briefly Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Syria in 1920. He was born in Mecca (in present-day Saudi Arabia), the only son of Faisal I, the first King of Iraq.

As Ghazi was the only son of Faisal I, he was left to take care of his grandfather, Hussein bin Ali, the Grand Sharif of Mecca, while his father was busy in his campaigns and travels. He therefore grew up, unlike his worldly father, a shy and inexperienced young man. In 1924, he left the Hijaz, which had been conquered by the Saudis, and moved to Jordan with the rest of the Hashimites. He moved to Baghdad in the same year and was appointed as the crown prince. When he was 16, Ghazi was taken for his first airplane flight by the American adventurer Richard Halliburton and pilot Moye Stephens. They buzzed the school yard so his school mates could see him in the biplane and stopped in Samarra to have a picnic atop the famed spiral minaret.

On the 8 September 1933, King Faisal I died and Ghazi was crowned as King Ghazi I. On the same day, Ghazi was appointed Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Iraqi Navy, Field Marshal of the Royal Iraq Army, and Marshal of the Royal Iraqi Air Force. A staunch pan-Arab nationalist, opposed to British interests in his country, Ghazi's reign was characterised by tensions between civilians and the army, which sought control of the government. He supported General Bakr Sidqi in his coup, which replaced the civilian government with a military one. This was the first coup d'état to take place in the Arab world. He was rumoured to harbour sympathies for Nazi Germany and also put forth a claim for Kuwait to be annexed to Iraq. For this purpose he had his own radio station to promote that claim and other radical views.

On January 25, 1934 Ghazi married Princess Aliya bint Ali daughter of King Ali of Hejaz in Baghdad Iraq. They had only one son

Ghazi died in 1939 in a mysterious accident involving a sports car he was driving. Faisal, Ghazi's only son, succeeded him as King Faisal II. Because Faisal was under age, Prince Abdul Ilah served as Regent until 1953.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 09:30:16 PM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 12:42:03 PM »
Iraq issued the first coins bearing Ghazi's portrait in 1937. The portrait was the work of Englishman Percy Metcalfe. Mr Metcalfe designed the first coins of the Irish Free State, known as the Barnyard Set. He also was responsible for the crowned effigy of George VI.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 11:50:33 AM by coffeetime »

Austrokiwi

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 03:18:37 PM »
The history is fascinating:  Thank you. I had no idea of the linkages.   I can see more and more the historical importance of that a couple of civil servants (French and English) who snookered the possibility of a pan Arabia

Offline Bimat

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 03:29:59 PM »
Interesting topic!

By any chance, was that coin struck at Bombay mint? Bombay mint used to use the same mint mark (dot below neck) on Indian coins during that period..

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 03:45:59 PM »
What I read in the Royal Mint archives was that, on this occasion, the dot represented the Royal Mint, London, whilst those with a *star* were from the Bombay Mint. I haven't found any images of this coin with a star below the neck, though.

My SCWC says that the Bombay Mint is represented by an "I" below the neck. Here is an image I have found that has one.

Offline Bimat

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2011, 03:50:22 PM »
That's interesting..

This Iraqi coin you have posted shows the Indian origin as letter 'I'. I knew that Indian mints (Calcutta and Bombay) struck coins for a number of British colonies (East Africa, British West Africa for example) but they never used 'star' mint mark. Even I'd like to see one coin with 'star' mint mark. (And now Hyderabad mint uses 'star' mint mark for Indian coins while 'dot' is mint mark of Noida mint!)

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 03:53:28 PM »
The information about the star was included in a letter from a member of the Royal Mint staff in the 1930s, Sir Robert A Johnson. I'm inclined to think that on this occasion he got it wrong, so we'll have to put it down to human error. The reverses of the Ghazi coins are very stylish too, so I'll post one here.

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2011, 06:41:53 PM »

From Wikipedia:


Faisal II (1935-58) was the last King of Iraq.  He was the only son of Iraq's second king, Ghazi, and his wife Queen Aliya, second daughter of 'Ali bin Hussein, King of the Hijaz and Grand Sharif of Mecca. His father was killed in a mysterious car crash in 1939 when Faisal was only three years old. Faisal's uncle 'Abd al-Ilah served as regent until the young king came of age in 1953.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 09:30:51 PM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2011, 06:42:22 PM »
Here is a picture of Faisal as a young boy at the Baghad Palace. The coin depicting him is an Iraq 10 fils, which was minted at the Bombay Mint and issued in 1943. I do not know who designed it.

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2011, 06:43:28 PM »
The young monarch's early minority coincided with World War II, in which Iraq was formally allied with the British Empire and the Allies. In April 1941, his uncle was briefly deposed as Regent by a military coup d'état which aimed to align Iraq with the Axis powers. The 1941 coup in Iraq soon led to the Anglo-Iraqi War. Promised German aid never materialised, however, and regent 'Abd al-Ilah was restored to power by a combined Allied force composed of the Jordanian Arab Legion, the Royal Air Force and other British units. Iraq resumed its British alliance, and joined the United Nations.

During his early years, Faisal was tutored at the royal palace with several other Iraqi boys. During World War II, he lived for a time with his mother in Berkshire, England. As a teenager, Faisal attended Harrow School, London, with his cousin, King Hussein of Jordan. The two boys were close friends, and reportedly planned early on to merge their two realms, to counter what they considered to be the threat of militant pan-Arab nationalism. Below you can see the two young Kings together.

Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2011, 06:44:00 PM »
Hastening Faisal's demise was the decision taken by his regent (later confirmed by him) to allow Great Britain to retain a continued role in Iraqi affairs, through the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1948, and later the Baghdad Pact, signed in 1955. Massive protests greeted news of each of these alliances, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators and an increasing deterioration of loyalty to the Iraqi crown.

In 1952, Faisal visited the United States, where he met President Harry Truman and Dean Acheson, among others. He is seen here with the actor James Mason and actress Deborah Kerr. The young king himself, though very short of stature, appears to have had film star looks.


Offline <k>

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Re: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2011, 06:45:07 PM »
Faisal attained his majority on May 2, 1953, commencing his active rule with little experience and during a changing Iraqi political and social climate, exacerbated by the rapid development of pan-Arab nationalism.

English artist and coin designer Humphrey Paget visited the young Faisal at Harrow School in the 1950s, to prepare the portrait of the King that you can see on the coin below. Humphrey Paget also designed the famous uncrowned effigy of George VI that appeared on the coins of Britain.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 10:43:22 PM by <k> »