Author Topic: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)  (Read 6210 times)

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Offline Overlord

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Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« on: March 09, 2008, 11:22:26 AM »
One of the smallest coins I have   :)

Obverse: Stylized lion/crescent


Reverse: Nagari legend

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2008, 09:28:44 AM »
On balance, I believe you are right that this is the Tuticorin fanam (Scholten 1257b, KM 48), though it might be the Negapatnam fanam (Scholten 1232, KM 31). The dates you give seem overly precise to me. We know that there were proposals to strike fanams around 1740, due to the conquest of Madura, which stopped their production there and we know that the Tuticorin mint closed in 1780, due to war with England (it re-opened in 1786) and that large quantities of fanams were struck, which makes it likely that they were produced over a good number of years (Codrington seems to have had access to mint reports, but I have no further details).

As the picture shows, the gold content was already pretty low. Soon, the fanam was to be a silver coin. That, the small size and the large minting, make this one of the cheapest gold coins available. The lines on the reverse are a haphazard imitation of the original RAMA RAYA in Nagari script.

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

Offline Overlord

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2008, 05:49:00 PM »
Thanks for the info, Peter. I don't have a specialized book/catalog on these. I found the info on this one here:

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/india/southind/maratha/south_marathacat3.html

My image desn't quite show the true colour of the coin. (Because of its small size and the glare coming off it, I found it a very difficult coin to photograph.)

If I am correct, this coin is 50% gold and 50% silver.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2008, 04:47:00 AM »
Nice little coin! Try photographing it with a neutral gray background.
richie

Offline Overlord

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2008, 11:01:30 AM »
Any idea what was the buying power of this coin?

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2008, 08:40:53 PM »
Then or Now Overlord?
Now, I'd guess that it would be enough to buy a round of cafe lattes for a group of five.
Then?  I'd guess it would be enough for a small coffee plantation.  Inflation is just terrible!  ;D

Offline Oesho

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2008, 12:04:41 AM »
The obverse doesn't show a lion, but a stylistic representation of the goddess Kali.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 03:29:45 PM by Oesho »

Offline Overlord

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2009, 12:31:26 PM »
Any idea what was the buying power of this coin?
Francis Buchanan's report A Journey from Madras through the Countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar gives us an idea of the buying power of a fanam:

Salaries (in Sultani fanams in Northern Mysore)
Village head-man: 20 fanams/month
Man labourer in an iron forge hired by the year: 6-10 fanams/month
Farm labourer (daily wager): 1/4 fanam/day (male), 1/7 fanam/day (female)
House servant: 8 fanams/month
Slave (Buy): 30-60 fanams (male), 15-30 fanams (female)
Slave (Rent): 4 fanams/year (male), 2 fanams/year (female)!

Prices
Buffalo (female): 36-72 fanams
Ox: 25-30 fanams
Cow: 20-25 fanams
Sheep: 1-1 1/4 fanams

The prices given below are per bushel (1 bushel=36.37 litres)
Rice (best quality): 9 1/2
Wheat: 8 1/4
Salt (of Madras): 3 4/5

The prices given below are per cwt (1 cwt=45.36 kg)
Dates (1st quality): 43 2/5
Sugar (of Madras): 86 4/5
Honey: 26 1/16
Ghee (clarified butter): 83 1/4
Saffron (from Kashmir): 10425
Nutmeg: 868
Black pepper: 73 3/4
Opium: 1390
Indigo (1st quality): 434
Raw silk (white China): 2172
Lead: 43 2/5
Copper: 217

The report can be found at the Internet Archive.

[Ref. Gold Fanams 1336-2000 by Hans Herrli]
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 03:45:55 PM by Overlord »

Offline Oesho

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2009, 03:35:37 PM »
Very interesting information.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Indo-Dutch Gold Fanam (1747-1784 AD, Tuticorin mint)
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2009, 10:47:05 PM »
Yes indeed, quite interesting.
Rent-a-slave?  I will resist the possible puns. One did not need very many fanams to be a man of wealth.
richie