Bajranggarh State Rupee

Started by Rangnath, June 11, 2008, 08:19:35 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I bought a small collection of State coins that included a rupee of Bajranggarh. It appears to be Km 7; it measures 18 mm and weighs 10.7 grams and is the first coin below.
I bought a second coin from Bajranggarh that was said to be km 9 and is the second coin below.  As there is no km 9 in any of my catalogs, I will make the assumption that the second coin is also km 7.  I would love to be correctect!

The only information I have about this small state is the following, taken from the Standard Catalog:

Bajranggarh was a small state in the district of Gwalior.  The mint epithet of Bajranggarh was Jainagar.  All the coins, irrespective of when they were minted were struck in lthe name of Maharaja Jai Singh and bore similar legends in the Devanagri script. 

One ruler is listed:  Jai Singh, 1797 - 1818 AD. 



Both the coins are of Bajranggarh when it still was an independent State, ruled by Jai Singh (1798-1818). Bajranggarh (Jainagar on the coins) was taken in 1816 by Jean Baptiste Filose a military commander in the army of Daulat Rao Sindhia, the Maratha ruler of Gwalior (1794-1827). From 1819, when Ajit Singh ascended the throne, Bajranggarh became a feudatory state of Gwalior and coins of this period have been listed under Gwalior State.
The Nagari legend on the coin is as follows:

Shri Raghav
Partap pava-
n-putra bal
pay ke

Yih Sikka
par chap Maha-
raja Jay Singh
Ke (year) Jay-
(This coin is struck in the (year) of Maharaja Jai Singh in Jainagar)

The coins of Jai Singh are dated with his regnal years. Known dates are 12, 14-20. All those coins bear a club or mace; the traditional weapon of Hanuman whose epithet occur in the legend. From the year 21 (1819) the club is omitted and a leaf added. On a variety of the year 21 a small sword is added over the Ry. See:  From the Ry.23 onwards also a bow and arrow is added.
The coins above are all of the period of Jai Singh (KM#6 & 7) The date on the first coin is a bit problematical as it is partly off the flan. It starts with a retrograde 1. The second digit may be a 6, but it is not completely clear, but I just don't know what else it could be.
The second coin is dated 18 (1816). The fabric of both coins differ considerable. As mentioned before the coins up to the year 20 are attributed to Jai Singh, but as Filose took Bajranggarh in 1816 (year 18) it seems doubtful that the coins with years 19 and 20 (and perhaps some of year 18 too) were struck there whilst the town was under Filose's control.
Possibly Jai Singh had them struck at another place whilst engaged in hostilities.


Because the second coin appears "cruder" (the letters are a bit thicker, the spacing between letters is greater), it is easy for me to imagine that the coin was created "on the run" so to speak. 
Hostilities must have been expensive to maintain in 1816. Having a portable mint might have been essential. 
Oh, well. It is fun for me to visualize the events of that day.
Thank you Oesho for the information (A French Mercenary? I guess that sort of thing was common; European adventurers with some technological knowledge finding work in India?).


Quote from: Oesho on June 12, 2008, 12:22:23 AM
Bajranggarh (Jainagar on the coins) was taken in 1816 by Jean Baptiste Filose a military commander in the army of Daulat Rao Sindhia, the Maratha ruler of Gwalior (1794-1827).

Very interesting! I presume the good monsieur Filose had supported the wrong ruler of France during the hundred days. He may have been a veteran of Waterloo, looking for a place ti hide from the wrath of the Bourbons who had "forgiven nothing and forgotten nothing". There is an account of a strange incident, where Filose and one Salvador de Bourbon met on an Indian battlefield and decided not to fight here. The book is full of fantastic anecdotes and what is probably contemporary gossip. There's a great one on pages 92/93...

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


The article is fascinating.  I'll try reading it this weekend.
Our Filose was most likely not a veteran of Waterloo.  In 1811 he served the Sindhia and continued that service until 1817. I suppose a return visit to France in time for Waterloo in 1815 is a very remote posibility.  Originally, I thought that perhaps Filose was an Asian Agent of Napoleon's equivalent of the CIA or the KGB.  He definitely would have been in the novel I'd write about his life.  As for reality, I found this article that set me straight.  Apparently, the French were on good terms with the British in India when they were not acting as officers in opposing armies. 

"In fact before the British Empire existed and down at least to 1800 when it was in the midst of forming, French military officers led and organized the armies of Indian Kings——from the Kingdom of Mysore in the very south of India up to the Kingdom of Punjab in the northwest.
Through a period of centuries, Western Europe, isolated from the current of cavalry-dominated lands in Asia, slowly perfected the art of managing foot-soldiers (infantry) and the science of delivering shots from cannon and mortar (artillery) in the battle-field."



I received this rupee recently. The reynal year appears to be Ry. 18. This is not Persian; is it a form of Gujerati? If the date is correct, the coin was minted in 1816, the year of Filose's capture of Jainagar.
Though the weight of this coin, 10.77 grams, is similar to the two above, the size of this coin is 20 mm across.  The other two are 18 mm across. Is that difference meaningful in any way?


The year in this coin is 14.
In the latest Journal of the ONS #198 (Winter 2009) an extensive article is published "Making the most in 'Troubled Times': Jean-Baptiste Filose and his coinage, by Shailendra Bhandare. p.16-38.
Herein Shailendra Bhandare also discusses the issues of Bajranggarh and on historical grounds attributes the specimen with a small canon on it to be struck by Filose at Bajranggarh. The canon seems to have been the personal symbol of Filose on this and coins of other mints (Sheopur, Isagarh, Shadorah and Musagarh, a new discovered mint).


These are amazing coins.
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"


With the help of the inscription renditions in "Coins of the Sindhias", I can read most of the Obverse and some of the reverse of the posted coin above.  They seem to be the same (or about the same) as "Yih Sikka par chap Maharaj Jay Singh ke (year) Jaynagar" and "Shri Raghav Partap Pavan-putra bal pay-ke".  I can certainly read the year as "14"; the join of the 1 to the 4 had given me problems.  Thank  you for the help Oesho.
I had assumed that the symbol on the reverse was a Gaja or Mace.  It looks very much like those used in coins of Datia and Orchha state.  If I understand correctly, the symbol is a canon of Firose? If this is so, does that mean that this issue is not of Jai Singh's authority but minted under the authority of Gwalior in the year 1812? 
I guess I am confused.  I thought Bajranggarh wasn't taken by Firose until 1816.
Unfortunately, I can not yet access the ONS journal concerning this coin.


Quote from: Rangnath on March 22, 2009, 01:07:44 AM
I had assumed that the symbol on the reverse was a Gaja or Mace.  It looks very much like those used in coins of Datia and Orchha state.  If I understand correctly, the symbol is a canon of Firose?
It is indeed a gaja/gada (mace). (Oesho's earlier post---Reply #1---confirms this.) "Pavan-putra" (Son of the Wind God) on the reverse is a reference to the monkey god Hanuman, whose weapon is a gada.

Even the name of the state "Bajranggarh" (Fort of Bajrang) has reference to Hanuman, who is also known as "Bajrang Bali".


Thanks Overlord.  That is great information and selection of the Gaja makes sense in this regard. I should have re-read Oesho's original reply.
But what does the canon of Firose refer in regard to coins from Bajranggarh?


See the coin in the Sindhia book listed under Chanderi. From earlier information Wiggins and I assumed that Filose struck the imitations of Bajranggarh (with a small canon on the bottom right side) at Chanderi, however, Shailendra Bhandare on other grounds, suggests that Filose struck those at Bajranggarh during his occupation of the fort. Wait for the Journal of the ONS # 198 and you may read all the arguments pro and contra.


Thank you Oesho. I will certainly look forward to ONS #198!
I had looked at Chanderi.
I kept looking and looking at the three coins that I had posted from Bajranggarh, trying to find a canon! I thought that you had found one and that is why Firose's canons were mentioned. And that is why I turned the mace 90 degrees and thought, "is this the canon?"  ::)
Sorry for my confusion.


Super interesting!

What the obverse legend "Shri Raghav Partap pava-n-putra balpay ke" means?
Thanks a lot.


Wow that's indeed a blast from the past

Loosely translated as

By the grace of Lord Hanuman, the Son of the Wind god (Pawan dev), (Lord hanuman) the supreme devotee of the Lord Shri Rama (raghava)