Author Topic: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin  (Read 3286 times)

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Offline Nelik

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South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« on: March 18, 2016, 03:17:57 PM »
Venetian- type o . J. ( 15/19 . Century ) . 2.70 g

The design of the Venetian gold ducat, or zecchino, remained unchanged for over 500 years, from its introduction in 1284 to the takeover of Venice by Napoleon in 1797. No other coin design has ever been produced over such a long historical period. The 500-year run of the zecchino is unique in history. I saw these specimens for the first time at the British Museum and found them enthralling. I decided to take the plunge when I came across this brilliant specimen from South India at an auction yesterday  :)

It is believed that these coins were used as money or currency in places such as Muziris in Kerala and Madurai in Tamil Nadu. The Venetian coins were in great demand in medieval Kerala. The Indian rulers purchased these coins as gifts for priests and scholars. As these coins bore the figure of St. Mark, they were regarded as sacred objects by the Syrian Christians of Kerala. Many Syrian Christian ladies wore necklaces made of Venetian coins.

Some Indians called the Venetian coins sanar kasu because the figures of Doge standing in front of St. Mark's cross on these coins appeared like a toddy drawer (sanar) preparing to climb up the Palmyra tree. The arches on the reverse of these coins resembled a bow or villu and called villu kasu.

For circulation Venetian sequins in South India see Gopal , R. Venetian Coins in Karnataka , Hospet 2005. The low weight of this piece is explained by the fact that it was probably produced not for circulation , but for decorative purposes , see Gopal , p. 33

Please feel free to share your thoughts!

Offline Afrasi

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 04:14:09 PM »
These pieces circulated also along the East African coast. This is no contradiction to your statements, as the entire trade in that area was in the hands of Indians.

Offline Nelik

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 05:05:28 PM »
These pieces circulated also along the East African coast. This is no contradiction to your statements, as the entire trade in that area was in the hands of Indians.

There has been trade relations between India and Africa since first century CE. The silk route extended, via ports on the coasts of India and Sri Lanka, all the way to Egypt, Horn of Africa, Ethiopia and Somalia. However, in the 15th Century the Portuguese began to explore Africa and established a strong presence in Mozambique. In the 19th century Africa was rapidly colonised by the European Powers (Scramble for Africa).
The Venetian Ducats were very popular coins. The popularity of this coin quickly spread throughout Europe and even beyond to most areas of the Middle East and including India, Egypt and Africa. So I wouldn't be surprised if these were circulated Along the East African Coast especially because the coast was colonised by the same European powers that occupied India.

Offline Abhay

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2016, 05:21:17 PM »
they were also used in many Princely States and were popularly known as "PUTLI". A Putli means a Doll, perhaps called so due to the presence of a Lady Figure on the coin.

Just see this link for the use of PUTLI as a coin in Gwalior state.

http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,32450.0.html

Abhay

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Offline Nelik

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2016, 02:40:00 PM »
Wow, Abhay! You've got a fantastic collection that you can cherish for a lifetime :) Could you share the weight of the 'PUTLI' in your collection?

Offline Abhay

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2016, 04:41:32 AM »
Wow, Abhay! You've got a fantastic collection that you can cherish for a lifetime :) Could you share the weight of the 'PUTLI' in your collection?

My Gold Coin weighs about 1.01 Grams. So I see that it is quite lightweight as compared to your coin which weighs 2.70 Grams.

I remember someone telling me that these Gold Putli were locally made, so as to use them as Local Trade Coins.

Abhay
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Offline Nelik

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2016, 05:22:06 AM »
My Gold Coin weighs about 1.01 Grams. So I see that it is quite lightweight as compared to your coin which weighs 2.70 Grams.

I remember someone telling me that these Gold Putli were locally made, so as to use them as Local Trade Coins.

Abhay

You're probably right, Mine weighs 2.70 Grams, Yours 1.01 Grams and the Venice Ducat weighs 3.50 Grams. I wonder what may have caused these discrepancies. One possible reasons is that the lightweight ones were locally made. However my coin bears a striking resemblance to the REAL Venice Ducat when compared yours. Any possible explanations? I also came across a few crude examples with Rama, Lakshman and Sita when I did my research.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2016, 09:10:56 AM »
While your coin looks like a ducat, the legend is completely wrong and many of the letters are retrograde. In North India, Dutch gold ducats were made in some quantity, in all kinds of finenesses and weights for jewellery. This one could be similar.

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

Offline Abhay

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 05:15:56 AM »
I have yet another Gold Putli, this one weighing 2.95 Grams.

Abhay
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 12:12:29 AM »
Excellent, Abhay! A genuine Indian interpretation of a coin from a totally culture. Are these coins difficult to find in India?

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

Offline Nelik

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 04:17:40 AM »
I believe this specimen is the Indian imitation which bears the figures of Rama and Sita. I'm also curious whether these are difficult to find in India?

Nelaan

Offline Abhay

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Re: South India: Venetian Ducat type Coin
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 04:33:37 AM »
I believe they are quite difficult to find, as I have not come across many such coins for sale in Auctions or with dealers.

Abhay
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