Bhopal quarter anna AH 1284, KM#4.3

Started by Rangnath, November 14, 2007, 01:34:23 AM

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7.3 grams    19 mm

I love the border, but then, I would. I once did a 100 page thesis on borders, but I digress.
I'm having difficulty dating this.  According to the Standard World Catalog, this coin should be 1285.  Well, I see the numbers, but they are not in exactly in the same location as in the Catalog and I wonder if I'm even reading them correctly.  And what is with the "19" to the left of what might be an "8" and a "5". 

If any of my good friends in Bhopal are reading this (fat chance!), hi Zeidi! hi Muhammad B! God Bless Hussain Sahaab! And in the memory of Nuhru, I love you all!


Good question, Richie. The date should be at the top on the right picture (I take it that this is Y 1). I read only 12. The next figure should have been 6, 7 or 8, but there's no trace of it and no place for it. On the pic in KM, the 12 is more to the right, leaving place for the whole date and there's no character on the left.

[speculation]The engraver was told to insert an extra character on the top line, for which there was no place. Not wanting to die from the consequences of a severed head, the engraver made place by simply dropping two other characters on the right. Since this made the coin look older, therefore more acceptable, Sikander Begum was happy.[/speculation]

Wondering if Oesho has anything to say about the strange flat areas on the upper left ...

BTW, your collection of Bhopal coins seems to be growing rapidly. Good fun, that.

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


I thought it more like km 4.1 but with differences.  I like your theory though. 
On the flat area on the upper left; I examined the coin and the area on the upper left is rounded as you'd expect from a hammered coin.  The appearance of flatness is due to my scanner rendering 2 dimensional what should have been three. Digital imaging sure can create illusions!
Finding the Bhopal coins was fortuitous.  I bought a mixed lot of 50 unidentified hammered coins, some hopelessly vacant of detail, and three were from Bhopal.  I sure was excited with the discovery!


Dear Richie,
Of the ? annas of Bhopal dated AH1285 there are several die-varieties. I have 4 varieties with different date arrangements. On your variety the part of the date 12 is shown above Sanah.
Below it is written Pauw anna (1/4 anna). Between ? anna and Sanah there are the digits 8 & 5 shown, making it AH1285.
Ref.: Y#4.3 (KM, 19th cent., 5th  ed.)


Yes, I can see that now!  A great deal of liberty is taken in the position of the numbers and with the form of the "8". Thanks again Oesho.

As for severe errors on the part of the engraver, my guess is that beheading would not have been the penalty.  Loss of position would have been nearly as severe a consequence though.  Which reminds me of the story of my dear friend and cook Nuhru, the Sudanese looking Egyptian from Bhopal. Around 1900, Nuhru's uncle was a wrestler of note in Egypt when, under the influence of hashish, he killed a man.  He and his family suffered banishment but because the Nawaab of Bhopal was particularly fond of wrestling and heard of his prowess, Nuhru's family was relocated in Bhopal.  Presumably, he then abstained from drugs and the family thrived.  There are streets in the old city named for famous wrestlers.


Moderators, please move this thread to the Princely States board.


There is little to add to Oesho's posting.  The date has been confirmed, and it has been clearly stated that there are a lot of varieties of especially quarter annas, with the date written in a number of ways in different positions.  These ought to be listed and written up at some time, and maybe Rangnath is the man to do it   ;D  ::)  >:D ?

Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.


Despite the delay, my intentions remain honorable.  :-[