World of Coins

Modern Asian coins, pseudo coins and trade tokens => Indian subcontinent: Mughal, Princely states and colonial (1526-1947) => Mughal central government => Topic started by: Abhay on February 12, 2010, 09:28:13 AM

Title: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Abhay on February 12, 2010, 09:28:13 AM
During the reign of Shah Alam II, I find that many coins were issued as "Governor's Hammered Coinage". Following is the list of KM numbers of the coins, which were issued under "SCINDIA" as governor.

Mint Akbarabad - KM # 520,540 - Mahadji, KM # 549.1,549.2,549.3,550,551,552,554 - Daulat Rao with John & George Hessing

Mint Gokulgarh - KM # 624

Mint Hathras - KM # 640

Mint Saharanpur - KM # 670,673,675,676,692,693,693a

My question, particularly to Oesho - Can we and/or should we include all these coins under "Coins of The Scindhias"? Kindly explain with reasoning.

Abhay
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Abhay on February 12, 2010, 09:30:23 AM
Some more coins of Shah Alam II - Scindia Governor
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Salvete on February 12, 2010, 10:09:27 AM
Sorry, Abhay, but I am not Oesho.  He will, no doubt, wish to add his reply when he sees your query.

  All I can say is that I prefer to keep my coins under the actual ruler.  What do I mean?  I'm not always sure.  When the State coins were first catalogued, all coins with the Mughal's name on them were catalogued as Mughal coins.  Now we mostly try to put, say Nizam coins under Hyderabad state, Awadh coins under Awadh state and so on, taking account of the date on which the state became independent.  This is also true for states and mints taken over by the Marathas - we usually cataogue them as Maratha.  Ditto BEIC.  The Governorships under Mughal Emperors are a slightly different story - in theory the ruler remained the Emperor.  Some emperors ruled in full power, others were more like figureheads, even puppets.  It seems to be a matter of discussion, in some cases, whether the emperor had or did not have actual ruling power over the places with Mughal governors, and this changed from time to time.

  In short, I think it is a matter of personal choice.  I know an eminent numismatist who keeps all his coins stored under the mint of issue, in alphabetical order of mints irrespective of independence or area where the mint was located, which shows the development of the coins of that place in a very useful way.  Most of us keep the state coins separate from the Mughal coins, but so often exact independence dates are a bit fuzzy.  And what do we do, for instance, with the few Rohilla coins struck during temporary occupation by Mughal / Maratha armies that were soon gone again?  It perhaps depends on our view of history and how we see the sovereinty of later Mughals, some of whom ruled, in the true sense, very little more than the Red Fort and a bit of Khalsa land.

I don't think it is sensible to try to lay down rules about this sort of thing, except that the way we store our coins, and list them, must suit our own view of history, rulership and the way we study the coins against their historical background - and that will vary from collector to collector.  Nobody is wrong, and everybody is right.  Win - Win!  How often does that happen?!

  I will also be very intereted to read Oesho's views, as I know he has thought about the matter deeply, and may have reached firm conclusions that will assist us all to get this complicated matter straight in our minds.

Salvete
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Abhay on February 12, 2010, 11:33:21 AM

  I will also be very intereted to read Oesho's views, as I know he has thought about the matter deeply, and may have reached firm conclusions that will assist us all to get this complicated matter straight in our minds.

Salvete

Thanks a lot, Salvete. I fully agree with your reply. Now let's wait for Oesho's reply.

Why I asked this question in the first place - just because there is a whole book devoted to the coins of Scindias - and personally, according to me, we can put these coins under the coins of Scindias, even if we have to add a new Chapter named as "Coins of Scindias as Governor". But of course, let's see Oesho's point of view.

Abhay
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Salvete on February 12, 2010, 11:50:06 AM
Hello, Engipress.  I fully concur with that suggestion.  But then it would be a credible approach only if we take the same view in other cases where the same (or very similar) circumstances apply.  I raised the matter of the Rohilla polity, which suffered more than most from incursions by Mughal (actually, of course, Maratha) armies in the late 177os and 1780s when there were attampts to get the Rohilla estates of Saharanpur and Meerut back under direct Mughal (actually Maratha) control  At least partially successful.  I wonder if the situation will not get too complicated if we try to put all places with Mughal governors under the polity that supplied the governor.  Some governors were Mughal statesmenn whose territories remained nominally Mughal, despite the fact that the emperor was already a virtual puppet of Sindhia.  What about Muhammad Beg Hamadani?  During his governorship, did not Akbarabad remain Mughal?  Or should we call it Maratha because Sindhia was pulling the strings at Delhi throughout this period?  Or when he was away from the capital, can we regard the empire as truly Mughal again.  If so, there was little or no power to Shah Alam's elbow, as demonstrated by the awful occurrences of Ghulam Qadir Khan's time as puppet-master.  No, I think it all gets very complicated, messy and uncertain when we try to second-guess who is really in charge, when it tended to change several times a year, and exact dates are not always available.  If we knew it all last year, how was it possible for one of our number to 'discover' a 'new' Mughal Emperor just a couple of months ago?
Like you, I await Oesho's input with great interest.
Salvete
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: asm on February 12, 2010, 12:17:56 PM
An interesting topic, Abhay. Salvete, I second your opinion on the classification as the history of those times, even if well documented (which in most cases is not) is so topsy turvy and moves from one ruler to the other in a short span. New material emerges regularly and I think it is best that such coins be attributed to the titular head rather than the powerful governor. In case of the states, they accepted the Mughal emperor as the soverign authority and hence issued coins in his name but were actully fully indipendent entities in themselves.

Amit

PS: Abhay, a nice collection.
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Salvete on February 12, 2010, 12:33:53 PM
Quite right, Amit.  Coins were struck in most states in the name of the incumbent Mughal up to 1858.  But how could those people claim to accept the Mughal as their sovereign when they had witheld tribute for 100 years, and had not gone to his assistance when his empire was invaded by the Durrani in 1757?  It was often more form than substance.  Even Sindhia called himself a 'loyal servant' of Shah Alam, and 'the patel' when dealing with the peshwar, but who did he think he was kidding?  Neither ammounted to a handful of beans without him.  Not an easy subject to get ones head round.
Salvete
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Rangnath on February 13, 2010, 12:47:07 PM
I love the discussion!
I'll bet I know less about this amazing historical period than you guys and so my views on the matter are subject to violent changes with the arrival of "new" information. 
I've been studying about Bhopal State.  The Scindia, for years in the 18th and early 19th century, considered Bhopal its feudatory state and at times was successful in imposing that status. And at times the Nizam did the same. So in what way was Bhopal independant or feudal?  With a history of so many competing power brokers and upheavals within a relatively brief period of time, say 1707 to 1858?, I guess that there is room for many conclusions and much confusion. 
richie
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Salvete on February 14, 2010, 11:02:22 AM
There is no doubt that both Sindhia and Amir Khan screwed tribute out of the Bhopal rulers on several occasions and the state came near to collapse because of their activities.  It never capitulated to either, although it came close (in about 1812, I think) and remained stubbornly independent.  In the history of that state, there are stories of treachery, heroism and gross cowardice, and it is better than any fiction for suspense and 'action'.  Before the third Maratha War and Pindari Wars (about 1813?) Sindhia demanded that the tributary status of Bhopal be recognised and written into the treaties, but the British refused, took protective action, and it almost lead to war.  Eventually, of course, there was war between the English and Sindhia, but Bhopal was kept independent, and enjoyed renewed prosperity after the post-war settlements, and for many years to come.  Rangnath is reading a number of books about Bhopal, its coinage and history, preparatory to launching the 'Bhopal Project' of WoC.  I am willing to bet he is enjoying those accounts very much indeed.
Salvete
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Abhay on February 14, 2010, 11:29:46 AM
Before the third Maratha War and Pindari Wars (about 1813?) Sindhia demanded that the tributary status of Bhopal be recognised and written into the treaties, but the British refused, took protective action, and it almost lead to war.  Eventually, of course, there was war between the English and Sindhia, but Bhopal was kept independent, and enjoyed renewed prosperity after the post-war settlements, and for many years to come. 
Salvete

In the war between English and Scindias, (in 1843), a beautiful Gun Metal Medal was awarded to the British Soldiers (Named Gwalior star). For details, kindly see the link below

http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,5537.0.html

Abhay
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Salvete on February 14, 2010, 11:41:11 AM
That is a vey good picture of a medal in extremely nice condition.  Thanks for showing it.  Gun metal is probably unique in its physical qualities regarding expansion and contraction.  I wonder who discovered those properties?
Salvete
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Rangnath on February 16, 2010, 07:09:48 AM
In what I'm reading, the Scindia are getting rather bad press, to say the least.  Salvete and Engipress, would you care to make a recommendation for a good history of the Scindia?
richie
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Abhay on February 16, 2010, 07:26:20 AM
In what I'm reading, the Scindia are getting rather bad press, to say the least.  Salvete and Engipress, would you care to make a recommendation for a good history of the Scindia?
richie

Dear Richie,

Nothing personal against Scindias, but it's a fact that had the Scindias helped Rani of Jhansi instead of Britishers in 1857, the history of India would have been different altogether. (For your inforamtion, Jhansi of Rani died at Gwalior only, The Chhatri (Cenotaph) of Rani Jhansi is at Gwalior only)

Now on a positive side, Yes, the later scindias, particualrly Madahv Rao I and Jivaji Rao Scindia, took keen interest in the development of Gwalior. If you remember, Jivaji Rao Cotton Mills (J.C. Mills) was very famous for its cotton cloth. Similarly, Gwalior Rayon (Gwalior Suiting) was also set up by Late HH Jivaji Rao Scindia. It is really very sad that both these mills, which provided employement to thousands, are now closed.

Sir Jivaji Rao Scindia established many educational institutes at Gwalior. Today, Gwalior is one of the main Educational Hub of Central India, and the credit must go to Sir Jivaji Rao.

Abhay
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Salvete on February 16, 2010, 10:14:30 AM
Hello, Rangnath.
You know what 'they' say - 'History is always written by the Victor.'  Perhaps you are reading Grant Duff, Malcolm or some other British officer, writing while hostilities were still going on, or had recently finished.  Not that Grant Duff is too one-sided, and there is a lot of factual stuff in both those accounts that has been useful to me.  I am not suggesting that hate-filled rants by Indian authors like D C L Vaish and A S Misra would be any better, but you need to look at the history of Maratha India from more than one side.  Sarkar's 'Fall of the Mughal Empire' (4 vols) has some really good stuff on the Marathas, as do a number of other general histories.  As you see from Engpress's posting, the Maratha / English hostilities still raise deep feelings among Indian patriots and nationalists (not surprisingly, considering the treachery, bad faith and hatred that accompanied those hostilities, and some people alive today - on both sides - are only a few generations removed from those who handled guns and swords in those years).  A more detached approach can get better results, and always, Always read the history of your interest from two or three points of view if possible.  There are number of biographies of Sindhia rulers, and of the Peswas, written by Indian authors and a few others that may be of interest.  Internet searches should bring them to your notice.  Then you pay your money and make your choices.  Wikipedia can help find the histories that you are looking for.
Perhaps Engpress would agree that if the Holkars had helped the Sindhias at Panipat, that also would have changed the course of history?  Our past is full of 'ifs' and 'maybes' but no ammount of wishing or regretting will change the past.  We have no choice but to live with the results - good and bad.  Can we please try to live together in peace, and search out truth and knowledge, not vengeance and hostility?
Thanks.
Salvete
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Oesho on February 16, 2010, 03:23:23 PM
That is a vey good picture of a medal in extremely nice condition.  Thanks for showing it.  Gun metal is probably unique in its physical qualities regarding expansion and contraction.  I wonder who discovered those properties?
Gunmetal is derived from the bronze of guns and is similar to bell metal. The alloy for bronze is usually a mixture of copper and 4 – 13% tin. Gunmetal and bell metal consists of about 20% of tin. More tin makes the alloy brittle and hard and unfit for the production of coins or medals. Nevertheless sometimes coins were struck from obsolete guns, but because of the physical qualities of the alloy, not very popular. Bronze cast coins, however, were already in use in China, long before our era. The medal is an early example of the use of gunmetal, but probably the alloy must have been diluted by adding an additional amount of copper, to make it less brittle and hard. In Europe the use of bronze for coinage started in the 19th century only. The usual alloy used for bronze coinage is 95% copper, 4% tin and 1% zinc.
Title: Re: Scindia Coins of Shah Alam II
Post by: Coinsforever on December 23, 2018, 02:26:55 PM
Quite an informative post and discussion is enjoyable to read here for this 8 year old post .

Cheers ;D