Dutch Pulicat Gold Pagoda Coin

Started by gsrctr, June 07, 2020, 04:52:40 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


A while ago I bought a pagoda coin that I could not identify. I was going through Scholten's "The Coins of Dutch Overseas Territories 1601-1948" and I strongly believe the coin I have is a mint state specimen of the gold pagoda that the Dutch minted at Pulicat.

The following is the description and the picture from Scholten's book.


The description is very clear on the sign in the center of the reverse.
The pagoda coins of the Rajah of Vijayanagar had "Vishnu" on the obverse. The identification of the deity as "Ganga" is clearly wrong, but the description of the symbols of the "Shankha" and "Chakram" are those of Vishnu.

My coin is below and I see that it more or less matches the description and the picture provided by Scholten. I think this is the same pagoda.
Welcome any opinions.


I find it difficult to match the top line of the "text", the missing feet (they might be off-flan, though) and the hat. I would suggest a PM to Oesho.

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


It's quite an odd style pagoda. I know the depiction of the pagoda in Scholten is also very odd, but the nearest type, which also complies favorable with the illustration by Tavernier's is shown here: https://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=56876


Thank you for taking time to respond, Oesho. Appreciate your expertise always.
I have your article as well from Spink's. Was hoping that some new discovery since then would have shed more light on this.

Thank you too, Peter. You are always helpful.


Just for another reason I was going through the article of Barbara Mears 'A review of the Pagoda Coins of South East India during the Nayaka and Early Colonial Period' in "Felicitas, Eassays in Numismatics, Epigraphy & History in Honour of Joe Cribb" (Mumbai, 2011).
On page 288 the same Pagoda is illustrated (SL 5) with the remark: Venkatapati pagoda of local issue - less pure gold of under 80%.


Thank you, Oesho. It is possible that one of the local poligars (chieftains) copied the Dutch design.
Read about a poligar named "Venkatapati Naidu" who was rich enough to mint his own Venkatapati pagodas!
Sent an email to Barbara Mears - will update this thread if she replies.