Author Topic: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32  (Read 1881 times)

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Offline bububoy

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Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« on: April 09, 2015, 11:58:18 AM »
A square rupee issued under the reign of Mughal Ruler Akbar.
Year- 1586 (Ilahi 32) Weight- 11.18g, KM#91.1



Curious as to why they issued square rupees..

mahe

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 12:39:26 PM »

Curious as to why they issued square rupees..

mahe

Probably easier to form the blanks by chopping from sheet silver as round coins required a lot more work to produce
Vic

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2015, 12:51:54 PM »
Curious as to why they issued square rupees..

So am I. I don't have the answer, but I can speculate. In these days, coin metal was rolled into a sausage shape and flans were cut from it, like you would cut a salami. The rolling would of course require that the metal was heated. Imagine the scene.

Foreman: you idiot, don't you know what a sausage looks like? It's round, no squarish.
Worker: at my salary I can't afford sausage, so I am a vegetarian. Besides, the metal was too cold, so it didn't roll well.
Foreman: you degenerate, if you'd been smarter you would have been a foreman and you could have eaten sausage at least once a month.
Mintmaster: what's going on here? Why aren't you working?
Foreman: this misshapen baboon let the metal cool off too much and now it has to be re-heated.
Mintmaster: Mmm. Give me that bar. I have an idea and I want to show it to the die sinker...

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

Offline abhinumis

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2015, 02:04:38 PM »
That's a pretty animated discussion between the foreman and worker.. i can fully imagine the scene!
Dr.Abhishek

Offline Pabitra

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 03:35:55 PM »
Sausages were not known in India during 16th century.
Akbar's time, most of the sensitive post holders were followers of Islam and would have avoided sausages, even if they were available.
Anyway,  interesting way of looking at things.
May be it was a "commem" coin of its time, like coloured fantasies of today.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 04:40:00 PM »
I got into the time machine again and asked the worker (he wishes to remain anonymus). He says they were Durian paste sausages and his post is sensitive only when he burns his fingers, which is often enough. :)

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

Offline saro

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2015, 11:35:33 PM »
Curious as to why they issued square rupees..
Square coins are of a very old tradition in India. They were the commonest coins in Malwa; and Akbar has taken Malwa....

Peter, in France, as you know, it exists square sausages ! they are called "nougat"  :)  (no religious interdiction...)
"All I know is that I know nothing" (Socrates)

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2015, 12:18:48 AM »
Nougat is so good the pope is considering to forbid it. :)

More seriously, I sorta like the cutting plate theory, but it wouldn't explain the rounded corners. The rounded corners are important, as sharp corners will cut through cloth and leather (but not pottery, which may explain why the Danes in Britain had cut silver with sharp corners.

Maybe it had something to do with tile making, in the sense that calligraphers were used to work in square or rectangular spaces, not round spaces. Even on round coins, you often enough see a square with text inside and around.

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

Offline bububoy

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 10:58:47 AM »
interesting discussion, but if the square blanks were produced using the so called slicing process, i feel maintaining the exact square would be harder, than if you were to try and make round blanks. what about the thickness it would be again hard to maintain the same consistency....

He says they were Durian paste sausages and his post is sensitive only when he burns his fingers, which is often enough. :)

did this worker have a nose clip on when working on these durian paste sausages ? :P

mahe

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2015, 03:28:31 PM »
There have been lots of discussions & arguments on different coin forums as to how coin blanks were produced for the coins of India & I recall non have the definitive answer,  cutting blanks from a round bar to make Rupees would have been unbearably hard work using hand made sawblades. Having worked with metal in the past myself & cut discs from thick bars using modern HSS hacksaw blades I know just how hard work it can be. :P

Some references in old books printed in the late 19th century point to the blanks being cut from sheet silver using multiple cuts with chisels & I think that is possibly why the edges of Rupees show multi faceted edges. Other methods of making blanks use red hot blobs of metal struck whilst hot, these coins show a rounded edge.

The square Rupees that show the full die properly centred such as the one posted by bububoy may have been struck on an oversized blank & then trimmed with a chisel, the design making it the right size to be the correct weight.

Here is a part of the description of minting at Bikanir c.1893 as witnessed by the Author W.W.Webb.  you can see the ref to making silver sheets & cutting to weight
Vic

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2015, 03:35:45 PM »
Another clip from the same book showing the costs for making Copper coins,( prices in Rupees, Annas & Pice), see how little the die cutter got paid compared to the coin striker who only needed brute strength
Vic

Offline saro

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2015, 04:45:15 PM »
Here an interesting paper on minting technology in mughal India:
http://www.academia.edu/1207078/Minting_Technology_in_Mughal_India

Chapter VI gives details for blanks fabrication.
"All I know is that I know nothing" (Socrates)

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2015, 05:13:00 PM »
Here an interesting paper on minting technology in mughal India:
http://www.academia.edu/1207078/Minting_Technology_in_Mughal_India

Chapter VI gives details for blanks fabrication.

I think that says a similar thing to that which I posted above, the silver is in flat bars or sheets & is chopped off, then holding the square cut blank upright on it's angular points it is then hammered until it is more or less round & hence the many facets left visible on the edge


 
On one side sits another person with scale and shears,for supplying him with square pieces of the metal with nearly the proper weight. On the other side is a person whose business is to adjust the weight more accurately after it has been formed into its shape. The silversmith receives back the small lumps; heats them red hot, and taking them up with a pair of small forks, gives them two or three smart blows on the angular points, then strikes the piece flat, and gives it afterwards one or two rapid turns on its edge, accompanied by gentle strokes of the hammer; and it thus receives its rudely round form ready for the die

 
Vic

Offline bububoy

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Re: Mughal Akbar I Square Rupee Ilahi 32
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2015, 08:43:44 PM »
WoW ! thanks saro and capt, this was indeed some very good learning for me on the making of square shaped coins.

mahe