Is this the first British EIC Pagoda from Madras?

Started by gsrctr, September 30, 2020, 08:16:11 PM

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The Jan 1979 "Spinks Numismatic Circular" article by J.Lingen identified the first coin below as the first pagoda coin minted by the British EIC at Madras c. 1643 - 1677 (also at with convincing proof. Though the specimen was in poor shape, the numismatic community more or less agrees now with that identification.

Recently I purchased a coin that (two of the top auction houses in India claimed) was similar to the above one (pictures 2 and 3), but in much better condition. I have not had the chance to verify the gold content etc yet, but it does seem to match. Pls take a look and appreciate any comments.


This is definitely Madras Presidency Pagoda. Not sure if I would call the one from the recent auction as the first issue from Madras. Also, there were couple of really big Pagoda lots recently found mostly Madras Pagodas and Vijayanagara issues. So, you will see many more in auctions and with dealers soon. There are way too many die varieties in these European pagodas that it is difficult to definitely say which European power struck what Pagodas and the chronology itself, though Jan has done the most research in this field.


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


Thank you, Peter. I requested Oesho. Hopefully he will find some time to respond.

Naabh4, I agree. There are too many varieties of colonial pagodas and this was not cheap either. However, both the auction houses that I respect said that they believed this to be the one. Hope to get it tested some time after the current covid crisis is over.

You may be right about the recent coin hoards. There were two other similar coins that came up for auction over the last one year (attached). Can you please share any information on the two hoards? I look forward to seeing more coins from those!


Another recent acquisition - and a potential candidate for the first version.
The coin is quite worn out but looks similar to the one identified by Lingen.

3.41 grams, 12 mm


Updating an old thread with two more acquisitions.
Hopefully one of these will turn out to be the first British EIC Pagoda!