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East India Company coins

Started by Overlord, February 04, 2008, 05:33:32 PM

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Overlord

A few East India Company coins from my collection...



(Note: The second set is polished and, therefore, less desirable.)

Bombay Presidency


Figleaf

#1
Good coins, Overlord. If where you live the air is polluted, just leave the polished coins on the window sill for a year or so. It also helps to give them a bath in olive oil from time to time. The larger coins of this series are hard to find with the cross on the arms intact, but it can be done. Finding coins with the lions face completely intact is near impossible. My guess is that the relief was too high.

There is very little Arabic on these coins, but it's fun to decipher it.

The 1791 coin is of another era than the 1835 coins, even though the dating is only 50 years apart. The 1791 coin was struck on a "primitive" stream press, the 1835 series with "modern" steam, hydraulic or pneumatic presses. For the 1835 coins, the Mint may have used reduction lathes. The 1791 coin is thin and it doesn't have a rim to protect the design and to make it easier to pile the coins, the third dimension of the coin is fully developed on the 1835 series. The bale mark is a design that anyone living in the middle ages would have understood. The "heart and four" resembles the marks you find on lead textile markers from all ages. The four is actually not a number, but a symbol for enterprise or company. The complicated arms with shield holders, flags and helmet sign is Victorian in style: faux middle ages, overdecorated, overcomplicated. Try drawing both freehand on paper and you'll see what I mean. The 1791 coin has an "English" side and an "Indian" side. The 1835 series is colonial, arrogant, bombastic.

All that to say nice contrasts in those pictures. :)

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

Rangnath

Wonderful analysis Peter.  I had recognized that the coin designs had changed but I hadn't given it much thought. 
richie

Overlord

Thanks for the advice and the info, Peter.

Overlord

Here is my Bombay Presidency Quarter Anna. Lions' faces are much clearer in this one.




Figleaf

Yes, that's a beautiful piece. This is the way I like them best: details clear,yet clearly circulated. A workhorse, not a jewel. Thanks. Overlord.

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

Overlord


Figleaf

That's a great piece. I think it would benefit from a bath in (pure) olive oil. The oil will colour the light spots and soften the white spots (which I don't completely trust), so you can easily wipe them off with a soft cloth or a paper hankie.

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