Author Topic: A Pyrrhic victory on horror vacui: With or without, two Qarakhanid fulus  (Read 289 times)

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Offline Pellinore

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Interesting to compare these two intriguing fulus. Usually, medieval islamic coins are full of text. But these two have an inner circle that's almost or totally empty. One has a dot in the centre of the circle, the other hasn't. Unfortunately, both coins are heavily marked by the incomprehensible evil of striating, that plagued copper coinage of this time and place.

They are Qarakhanid coins of the same place and date: Ferghana, 398 AH = 1008 AD, ruler Nasr b. Ali. See Zeno for a row of different types with the same mint and date, but this one, Zeno 171651, is comparable to these coins (in this case, with the dot).

Some Fatimid dinars of the 10th and 11th century AD show the same interest in the inner circle (or bull's eye) with the dot or without the dot.

Technical details:

AE fals Qarakhanids. Ferghana, 398/ 1008. Nasr b. Ali. Large central circle with nothing in it. 28 mm. 2.48 gr.  Album 3303. Kochnev 120.
AE fals Qarakhanids. Ferghana, 398/ 1008. Nasr b. Ali. Large circle with a little dot in the middle. 28 mm. 3.09 gr. Album 3303. Kochnev 120.

For comparison of the obverses, I put the first 'LA' of the Kalima, in the second circle, at the same point on one o'clock.

-- Paul

« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 03:15:03 PM by THCoins »

Offline THCoins

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Interesting specimen indeed. But i don't know whether the designers shared your conception of the centerpart of the coin as "empty". I think they just might have seen it having a different meaning. On bright new coins the center for example might have been seen as the radiant sun as representing the ruler ?
I admit, i would not allow the center then to be with scratches as a default.
I think the alignment "La" of the legend is not the first of the Kalima, but the "La" of "La sherika Lahu" ? Keep finding these difficult to read.

Offline Figleaf

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Great idea TH! The sun on a coin at its most subtle, yet most realistic.

Taking into account that Qarakhanid coins were rolled and cut out of a strip (see this thread, dies must have been quite round. Not sure how the dies were made, but I could imagine a structure that would hold the die while the die sinker was working it that would have a short pin in the centre to keep the die from shifting. This is one way to explain the dot in the centre...

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

Offline Pellinore

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Thanks, THC! A radiant sun, possibly... but then both in Fatimid as in Qarakhanid coinage, the centre is rarely empty, usually there is the dot in the middle.
As for the inscription, naturally, you are right, there's an s after the La, I should have known better.
Here's the reference in Kochnev 120. Maybe this helps reading.

-- Paul


Offline Pellinore

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Great idea TH! The sun on a coin at its most subtle, yet most realistic.

Taking into account that Qarakhanid coins were rolled and cut out of a strip (see this thread, dies must have been quite round. Not sure how the dies were made, but I could imagine a structure that would hold the die while the die sinker was working it that would have a short pin in the centre to keep the die from shifting. This is one way to explain the dot in the centre...

Peter

Right, Peter, I forgot that interesting picture. None of the early Qarakhanids and later Samanids is much offcenter, that's a fact. But if I read that thread, it is theorized, if I understand it rightly, that the coin was minted and cut from the strip at the same time? A die that has a cutting edge around it. In that case, you don't need a pin. Besides, you never see a hole or a dent in the middle in that way. There are still mysteries to solve...

-- Paul

Offline Figleaf

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In my scenario, it doesn't matter whether the coin is struck and cut at the same time or consecutively. The dot (actually a pit in the die would be made to facilitate die production, not coin production.

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