Author Topic: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga  (Read 7667 times)

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Offline Overlord

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Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« on: February 09, 2008, 01:49:19 PM »
The only Indo-Portuguese coin I have...



Online Figleaf

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2008, 01:14:18 PM »
A wonderfully arrogant colonial coin. It's a Portuguese coin by design and execution. If you'd hold it away far enough so you couldn't read the texts you'd guess it was European. No concessions to the steaming natives!

At the time India invaded Goa, there was only a small contingent of Portuguese military there. Portugal was ruled by a backward military dictatorship, since overthrown in a remarkable success story. The military bosses, sitting safely a continent away ordered the troops in Goa not to surrender, knowing fully well that they were unable to deliver reinforcements and that the invaders were far too strong for the garrison. Arrogance had come home to roost. Once again, young lives were lost to bleating stupidity.

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

Offline Bookworm

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2008, 01:57:14 PM »
A wonderfully arrogant colonial coin. It's a Portuguese coin by design and execution. If you'd hold it away far enough so you couldn't read the texts you'd guess it was European. No concessions to the steaming natives!

Now that you mention it, all portuguese colonial coins were wonderfully arrogant that way, with two exceptions. One was Macao, which had its first coins coins issued in 1952. Initially the only concession to the natives were chinese characters on the coins, which were bilingual, but from the 1980s onwards, the coins had some local flavour, with local motifs on them, including an ocasional dragon.  ;D
The other exception was, well, India. The reign during which this coin was issued (King Luis) was the first on which indian coins had an european look about them (well, the first Portuguese India coins, from the XVIth century, looked european, but that soon changed). Before the 1870s, portuguese india coins were locally designed and produced. They were hammered coins, poorly designed, with the monarch's portrait looking oddly asiatic.   ;D
Such coins tend to look quite ugly, but I find them very interesting.

At the time India invaded Goa, there was only a small contingent of Portuguese military there. Portugal was ruled by a backward military dictatorship, since overthrown in a remarkable success story. The military bosses, sitting safely a continent away ordered the troops in Goa not to surrender, knowing fully well that they were unable to deliver reinforcements and that the invaders were far too strong for the garrison. Arrogance had come home to roost. Once again, young lives were lost to bleating stupidity.

You don't know the half of it, Peter. Not only there weren't any reinforcements, the local garrison wasn't in the least equipped to deal with an invasion. In fact, it's amazing that they managed to put up any fight at all. Navy forces consisted of one ship and two or three small patrol boats, there weren't any planes or tanks available, and the only artillery consisted of a few cannons decorating the headquarter's parade ground. The soldiers were issued with pre-WWI(!) rifles, the ammunition for the few submachineguns available was well after its usefull life (patrols were instructed to test fire their smgs before leaving barracks, to make sure they could indeed fire...), the few armoured cars available were so old and corroded they had their floors "reinforced" with timber. When asking for antitank shells, they were coded as "portuguese sausages" (chourišos). The brass in Lisbon promptly sent several crates of sausages, thus proving their already suspected lacking in the reasoning department. ::)
Portuguese civilians were not allowed to leave, but the remains of Saint Francis Xavier were evacuated, just in case.
After the inevitable defeat, Salazar sent a trusted representative to the portuguese commander (then a POW, of course), who gave him some poison pills, so he could "do the honourable thing". The general, of course, gave him a (mental) middle finger. Portuguese POWs were better treated by India's government than Portugal's. Upon their arrival by boat at Lisbon, the pier was cordonned off by military police, so they couldn't talk to anybody. The press was censured, anyway. All in all, a very sad story...

Aldo

PS - In case anybody's wondering, there aren't any POW tokens from the fall of Portuguese India.  ;)

translateltd

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2008, 11:34:29 PM »
Interesting history!

Here is a link to some of my older Portuguese India pieces:

http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~translate/portindia/

The individual images are quite large (200k - 300k)

Martin
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« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 01:33:25 AM by Figleaf »

Online Figleaf

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2008, 11:49:15 PM »
Them is superb coins, Martin! Why not post them here?

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

Offline Bookworm

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2008, 12:01:55 PM »
Them is superb coins, Martin!

Ditto!  :o
Notice the poor quality of the designs: the 1768 half atia looks like it was drawn by a child; The digits on the 60 reis coin are of unequal size, again like a child would draw them.  :)
Still, cool coins! I wouldn't mind having them in my collection, except for the countermarked coin, and then only because I already own one.

Aldo

Offline bart

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2008, 04:26:51 PM »
Here are my own quarto de tanga-coins.
The Luiz-coin is XF, the Carlos coin is rather poor.

Bart

Offline bart

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2008, 04:30:46 PM »
And my oitavo de tanga-coins. These are rather poor.


translateltd

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2008, 12:38:04 AM »
Them is superb coins, Martin! Why not post them here?

Peter

Would if I knew how :-)

I was in rather a rush yesterday so found it just as easy to post a link.

Martin
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Offline bart

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2008, 10:44:20 PM »
Today this 1/12 tanga was waiting for me in my mailbox.

Bart

Offline Overlord

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2008, 04:56:27 PM »
Very nice coins Bart. The quarto de tanga is simply superb.

Offline bart

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2008, 06:18:55 PM »
Thanks for your comment.
Indeed, the 1/4 tanga is a superb AUnc coin. It makes the other coins fade away...

Bart

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Portuguese India: Quarto de tanga
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2008, 05:24:48 PM »
When asking for antitank shells, they were coded as "portuguese sausages" (chourišos). The brass in Lisbon promptly sent several crates of sausages, thus proving their already suspected lacking in the reasoning department.

Aldo, your account of the failed defense of Goa belongs in Film; another instance of time plus trajedy is comedy. I lived in a fishing village in Goa for a couple of weeks in 1969. At that time it was a very magical and breathtakingly beautiful place.

Another great thread with some absolutely wonderful images of coins.  Thanks everyone.
richie