Author Topic: Jahangir: Rupee, Lahore, KM 145.11...beautiful ornamental die, BUNC with lustre!  (Read 299 times)

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Offline mitresh

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Jahangir, Silver Rupee, Lahore, RY 7, Farwardin, KM 145.11

Obv: Nur-ud-ddin Jahangir Shah Akbar Shah
(Light of the Faith, Emperor Jahangir (son of) Emperor Akbar)

Rev: Mah Farwardin Ilahi zarb Lahore 7
(struck coin) during Divine month (of) Farwardin (Aries) (at) Lahore (during Regnal Year) 7

Beautiful ornamental design with no test-marks !! BUNC with lustre. This type coin was struck during RY 5-11 (1609-1615 AD).
In the quest for Excellence, there's no finish line.

Online Figleaf

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The odds of finding such a venerable coin in such a grade must be very close to zero. Another broad flan, showing what a splendid coin could potentially be made when what we usually see are lumpy dumpies. What could have been gained by uglifying coins? All it would have taken is somewhat flatter flans...

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

Offline asm

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The odds of finding such a venerable coin in such a grade must be very close to zero. Another broad flan, showing what a splendid coin could potentially be made when what we usually see are lumpy dumpies. What could have been gained by uglifying coins? All it would have taken is somewhat flatter flans...
The gain would have been speed (so reduced cost of minting) and reduced heating cost ......... so saving both time and energy. The payment was done on number of pieces struck........!!!!

Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Online Figleaf

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That would imply that materials are significantly more expensive than labour. If labour were more expensive, it would have been cheaper to make simpler designs. Quite possible, but it doesn't solve my problem.

What I am after is a more complicated question. Why do labour cost (for making the die) not count when it comes to the glory of the Mughal while material cost, while they do count when it comes to rolling the plates to thickness and material cost for heating count? In other words, what's the point of making beautiful dies to make ugly coins?

Maybe, just maybe the Mughal was so far removed from reality that he didn't know what real coins looked like because he only saw broad flans?

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

Offline Overlord

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  • Tamdiu discendum est, quamdiu vivas
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Even the camera seems bedazzled by the level of detail!

Offline asm

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That would imply that materials are significantly more expensive than labour. If labour were more expensive, it would have been cheaper to make simpler designs. Quite possible, but it doesn't solve my problem.

What I am after is a more complicated question. Why do labour cost (for making the die) not count when it comes to the glory of the Mughal while material cost, while they do count when it comes to rolling the plates to thickness and material cost for heating count? In other words, what's the point of making beautiful dies to make ugly coins?

Maybe, just maybe the Mughal was so far removed from reality that he didn't know what real coins looked like because he only saw broad flans?

Peter

In the times of the early Mughals, this was not the case. One finds reasonably large flans most of the time, and the possible reasons for the sometimes poor strikes was likely the need of speed.
As times went by the beauty of the coins reduced, (from the times of Aurangzeb, we see plain coins) and then as years progressed and th hold of the Delhi court loosened, the coins too keep pace with the deterioration.  As the power moved from the Mughal court to the governors and then to the small time princes, the workmanship of the coins, the die engraving etc kept sliding.............. till it came to a state that the coins show just a fraction of the die.
The possible reason was that while the coins in the initial stage were a marketing medium to propagate the cause of the Mughal Rulers, Aurangzeb introduced the Islamic tradition of artless, beauty-less coins. Later on, as the engraving skills deteriorated,  the dies kept becoming larger and the flans, to save cost, became smaller. Even alloy was altered to reduce the silver percentage (by small fractions). 

Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Online Figleaf

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That makes eminent sense. Workmanship quality depends on the internal strength of the empire. I think your argument is to look beyond the size of the die and into the engraving of the die, as it moves from elegant and flowery to stilted and plain. You and Mitresh and others with a big collection are well placed to do that. Good point. Thank you.

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