A Falus of Golkonda: Abdullah Qutb Shah

Started by Rangnath, April 09, 2008, 04:54:13 AM

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I knew I didn't know what this coin was when I acquired it and when I found that it came from the Qutb Shahs of Golkonda, I was delighted.  It is the only coin I have from that Kingdom. But it is the legend on the obverse that motivates me to post it.  I thought Peter specially would appreciate it.

The coin weighs 10.7 grams and was dated AHX068, or 1658 AD.  In Goran and Goenka, I matched it with Q73.

The coin was minted by Abdullah Qutb Shah, the seventh ruler of the kingdom of Golconda in southern India under the Qutb Shahi dynasty (Wikipedia.) He ruled from 1626 to 1672.
Abdullah, son of Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah, was a polyglot, and a lover of poetry and music. He invited to his court and respected Kshetrayya, a famous lyric writer. Kshetrayya is known for his sexually explicit poetry. Is that a reason to think favorably about Abdullah? Perhaps.  It is certainly a better reason than acts of terror and destruction.
I don't know if Abdullah was a competent ruler or not, but he was obviously born at the wrong century to expect continued welfare for his kingdom.  Aurangzeb, later known for his religious intolerance and under the command from his father, the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan, took over Hyderabad by surprise.  Abdullah was forced into accepting severe conditions and he died in 1672. The mauseleum below was his final resting place. 
I thought you might like this aphorism Peter, which would be fitting as an end to this post.  Did Goran get it right Oesho? On the obverse of this coin, the legend says:

"It has come to an end well and auspiciously." 


Dear Richie, there is no reason to doubt Stan Goron's reading. On the reverse the legend is: Dar al-Sultana Haiderabad.
There is a series of coins (not in Goron/Goenka) which were struck by the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in the name of Sultan Abd Allah Quitb Shah. In 1646 the Dutch settlement at Pulicat (Paliakate) was captured by Mir Jumela, the general of Abd Allah Quitb Shah. After some tactfull negotiation they received permission to strike copper coins with the stamp of the Sultan. From 1647 till c.1674 a series of 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10 kas were struck which have on the obv. the VOC-monogram + value and the legend Benam Sultan Abd Allah (In the name of the Sultan Abd Allah) on the reverse. The V kas and X kas were struck for circulation in Ceylon, where they were valued for a 1/2 Stiver and a Stiver.

Attached an image of a copper VIII kas coin struck by the VOC at Paliakate


A marvelous story Oesho. I looked in the standard catalog and saw the note under the Cash series for the reverse: Legend in the name of Abd'allah. Seeing your coin is quite an improvement!

I am terrible at spelling in English.  As for the names in Arabic, I prefer to spell them correctly though there are, I'm sure, difficulties rendering Arabic names into English.  Can all "Abdullahs" (the current ruler of Saudi Arabia for example) be better rendered as "Abd'ullahs", or are they two separate names?



Abd Allah or Abd'ullah or Abdullah is the same, viz.: "Servant of Allah"


For quite some time, the legend was read as rabb/sultan/abd (lord/king/slave). I am not sure, but I believe it was Oesho who came up with the correct reading. Since the old interpretation is in Scholten, I took a bit of a fight to get KM to change the description.

Scholten notes that these coins were mostly used to pay VOC soldiers and circulated locally only.

As for the legend on Rangnath's coin, yes, it is amusing. I am reminded of Carus's epitaph in Wikipedia

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