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Coins of the British Commonwealth: Bengal Presidency

Started by Rangnath, November 15, 2008, 12:28:19 AM

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Rangnath

Oesho requested the following coins from his collection to be posted:

Description:

* Pr.#59, AU 1/16 mohur AH1203/Ry.19, mint : Murshidabad.

*Pr.#63, AU ½ mohur AH1202/Ry.19, mint name Murshidabad, Calcutta mint.
Authorized by Regulation dated 1st May 1793.

*Pr.#64, AU ¼ mohur AH1204/Ry.19, mint name Murshidabad, Calcutta mint.
Authorized by Regulation dated 1st May 1793.

*Pr.#147, AR Rupee, perpetual 19 san sicca, AH1205/Ry.19, mint name
'Murshidabad' (Calcutta mint), partly struck by machinery.

*Pr.#153, AR Rupee, 1790 first milled issue of the 19-san coinage, Calcutta
mint.

* Pr.#339, Sagar mint, Jalus 45, single AE pice, 3rd issue 1834-1835. Value
in Persian and Hindi.

* Pr.#369, pattern AE sikka 1793. Obv & rev. : Sikka Kampani Isawi 1793
(Money of the Company, in the year of Jesus 1793)

* Pr.#389, AE Sicca pie pattern 1809. Obv. Arms of the Company/Rev. value
One pai sikka in three languages.


Rangnath

First, some applause for Sri Oesho.  As we say in the valley: its way cool.   8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
The toning on the pattern coin is just incredible.  It has the appearance of a bi-metal coin with a stunning design and is my favorite of the eight.
richie
 

BC Numismatics

Richie,
  I'm really floored! The bottom pattern coin reminds me of the St. Helenian 1821 1/2d. coin,which has an East India Company Coat-of-Arms obverse.

Aidan.

Figleaf

#3
I have seen the Bengali 1793 pattern listed, but I have never seen a picture of it. It is of great significance, as it is part of the early contacts between Boulton & Watt and East India House.

When James Watt had invented the steam engine, he turned his attention to finding practical application for the machine that turned heat into power. In 1775, he found an ingenious partner in Matthew Boulton. The first product of their cooperation was a steam mill, the Smethwick Engine (1779). The pair designed and built machines for stamping metal into buckles, buttons, metal boxes, cutlery, medals and coins. Boulton owned South House, which was turned into a factory, called the Soho Mint. The quality of their products convinced the East India Company to see them as competitors to the Tower Mint, which was stil using screw presses.

Boulton and Watt went on to produce this and other magnificent patterns and coins for the East India Company for use in India as well as the Straits Settlements from the late 1790's until the demise of the East India Company, some 70 years later. However, the coins with the raised edge with incuse lettering attracted the attention of the British government. Boulton and Watt landed a contract for similar coins for the homeland, the pennies and tuppences of 1797 as well as a contract to supply the Tower Mint with what were essentially steam-driven screw presses, delivered in 1806.

What I find interesting about the episode is that the government was unable to use the new technology itself. Therefore, for the first time since the middle ages, British coins were struck in a private production unit. It would take another decade before the Tower Mint had finally caught up. By that time, the successors of Boulton and Watt, Ralph Heaton and Sons had carved out a market share for foreign coins. The episode explains how for a few decades, British colonial coins were better executed than homeland coins.

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

Rangnath

That is tremendous information Peter. Thank you for that.
richie

BC Numismatics

Perhaps we can say that the Soho Mint was like an 18th. Century equivilant of the Commonwealth Mint & the Pobjoy Mint.

Aidan.

Figleaf

Absolutely not. Soho made real and serious coins with superior technology for existing countries in competition with state-owned mints. Unless you were referring to Boulton & Watt's metal buckles and buttons there is no relation between Soho's output and that of pseudo coin floggers.

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

BC Numismatics

Peter,
  The Soho Mint must have been the very first mint to be given contracts to strike coins for a country other than Great Britain.I wouldn't be too surprised if the 2008 coins from Tristan da Cunha (which were struck at the Commonwealth Mint) ended up circulating there.Pobjoy Mint also does strike circulating coins for the Isle of Man as well as medal-coins.

Aidan.

Figleaf

Private mints striking for other lands is a much older phenomenon. In the 1500's, the Gorinchem mint produced coins for the Appingedam mint in Friesland when the Habsburg armies and the city of Groningen made the land unsafe for a mint under protestant control. Gorinchem also struck coins for the Portuguese pretender Dom Antonio. The mint in Kampen produced regularly struck coins for Friesland after the province closed its own mint, but I am not sure if the Kampen mint could be called private. The Wood issues (1722-24) used in Ireland and the US also come to mind.

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