Sultans of Dehli, Iltutmish, Billon Jital i.n.o Caliph Mustansir

Started by capnbirdseye, February 24, 2012, 12:00:15 PM

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Quote from: Ansari on February 24, 2012, 05:13:36 AM
May be its a wrong ticket can chk ur box again for ticket of 'Sam". Its a common coin.

I was rather hoping the ticket referred to the rare  G&G D47  in the name of the Caliph al-Mustansir, , horseman & Nagari sri Shalifa,  if so then the coin will be on a tray somewhere


I've found this Jital with a Bin Sam ticket but it doesn't look right, can you read this one?m might be for the label above?


Quote from: capnbirdseye on February 24, 2012, 05:00:32 PM
I've found this Jital with a Bin Sam ticket but it doesn't look right, can you read this one?m might be for the label above?

Even to me it does't look like Sam's Coin. Sorry unable to read anything on this coin.


Working a bit on the Jitals of the Sultans of Delhi. In the course i encountered this old thread.
I don't know if you identified this last coin already Vic ? In any case, at the time i would not have been able to read the inscriptions on the coin. Now i can. And because i think it is a rather special specimen i made an overlay of it.
As was suspected, the Horseman side reads [Sri] KhaLiPhaH. Which might have been used as a reference to the abbassid caliph
in Baghdad who has just legitimized the reign of Delhi Sultan Iltutmish. (I forgot it in the overlay, but the dot after Pha indicates a word-ending on -H)
I do not think however it is G&G D47. I do not have this part of G&G to check, but i believe D47 is the equivalent of Tye#389 with a textual reference to Al-Mustansir on the bull side. I looked a long time at the text at the bull side untill i recognized the "Ti" character. Although only a fraction visible, the character after this must be Ma or Mi. The first is a bit of guessing. But the combination only fits with a reading of "IlTiMi" the Nagari version of Iltutmish on the Bull side. With the bit crude depiction of the bull this seems to fit best with Tye#385. Which is supposed to be rare. Vic, do you have any ideas what G&G reference nr this might be ? Perhaps Robert also can give his view on the matter ?


Thanks Anthony, I will check later & take a better photo if i can find the coin again, the trouble I had a few years back with my children 'playing shop' with my coins & mixing them up is now returned with my young Grandchildren who are aware of my coins but so far have resisted touching anything so I have to be wary as they are here right now peeping round the door at me  :D :D


Here is a better photo,


here is the reverse of that old coin ticket which definitely belongs to this coin as it shows lV on the jhul


Great, much better picture. This confirms my reading of the horseman side. The reading of the bull side inscription is falsified. This nicely illustrates the difficulty of transcribing the legends from a photo.
What i read as a Ti should probably interpreted as Li or Lo. In front of this a clear Ra. Alternatively this could be the right part of "A", but this seems less likely. The initial character i really do not know yet, but could be a damaged Mi. So this gives: "Mi Ra Li Mx" This might be compatible with a reading of "Mustansir Amir Li-Momina" as would be expected on Tye#389/G&G D47. But not conclusive.
So something like this:


I split the topic, Saif-ud-Din al-Hasan Quarlugh (Sri Hasana Kuralaka), Nandana mint, Tye#346


And i again split this topic so the discussion of the coin with the posible Sri Khalifa legend is seperated.
The topic has my interest because the Iltutmish B&H Jital in name of Al-mustansir wit Sri Khalipha on the horseman side seems to be a quite elusive coin. From the discussion also a new possible candidate was brought forward from this thread.
I copied the photo of the bull side here [property Biplab]. The Nagari legend above the bull reads "Mi Ra Li" which could be part of the legend "Mustansir Amir Li-Momina" which is supposed to be present on these Tye#389 types.


To continue the search for the elusive al-Mustansir type here is a coin i recently bought through the internet. It was attributed as a Jital of Ma'sud, Tye#404. Despite the high-quality source of the coin i have doubts on this attribution.
I think this coin shows a fairly large part of the same legend which is present on the above coins and is actually a Tye#389 jital issued under the reign of Iltutmish commemorating his recognition by the Abassid caliph Al-Mustansir.
The overlay shows my preffered reading. The red characters i am pretty sure of. The orange ones are intrapolated, but can be less convincingly based on the factual remnants on the coin. The horseman side possibly shows the "Pha" character of KhaLiPhaH, but much less clear as on Vic's coin.


I don't know if that's right or wrong, but I looove the analysis and its outcome seems quite logical to me.

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


Thanks Peter. Hope that others will look at some of their coins again and possibly realize that they also have got one. So we can solve the question on the total legend on these together.


Coming back to an old thread again.

The attribution of this coin to the reign of Iltutmish seems to come from the work of Wright "The Coinage and metrology of the Sultans of Delhi". It sounds plausible that this was done to commemorate the recognition of the reign of Iltutmish by the Abassid caliph Mustansir. I do not know of any contemporary written evidence for this.

One thing i always found odd with this explanation is that this type must have been produced in parallel with the normal bull and horseman jitals over a prolonged period of time. The Tye catalog shows 3 different symbols on the jhul of the bull. My specimen above shows a fourth unpublished symbol. These symbols on the bull are generally considered year marks. For Iltutmish 25 different marks are known with would fit with his long reign. So, this would suggest these were issued for multiple years. Apart from this i think it would be more logical to mint a shiny silver high denomination coin as a commemorative coin honouring the Caliph. Why choose the lowest base silver coin type for this ?
Another thing that puzzled me is that al the rulers from Muhammad bin Sam upto Masud issued both Horseman/text and Bull/Horseman jitals from Dehli. Where the Bull and horseman jitals keep their distinctive style over several decades. There is however one odd one out; Raziyya sultana did not issue any bull and horseman jitals. G&G just states that the production of these was terminated. Strangely enough, her successors again did issue this type almost unchanged.

That has led to an alternative hypothesis, for which i'd gladly hear your critique.
I believe that under the rule of Raziyya sultana bull and horseman jitals were issued. And it was this type Tye#389 in name of Caliph Mustansir.
Some supportive evidence:
- The presence of 4 different mintmarks would fit with the duration of the reign on Raziyya.
- The position of Raziyya was precarious. She was chosen by her father Iltutmish as successor. But the "counsil of fourty"(The elite ruling nobility) had favoured her brother Feroz, which was not a success. When she did get the throne is was with only a very limited support of the ruling class. So she had to be carefull not to provoke more opposition.
This may be reflected in that there is no coinage known in the name of Raziyya from the first year of her rule. Subsequently she did issue coinage. The first coinage named just here father Iltutmish. Later coinage was issued that named both Iltutmish and Raziyya.
In this situation it might be considered a smart move if Raziyya issued bull and horseman jitals in name of the ruling Caliph. That ought not to provoke resistance and could strengthen the claim to legitimacy of her rule.

My proposed change in attribution is displayed in the graph below.
For this i used some of the line drawings from the Tye Jital catalog for their clarity which i can not improve (Rob, if you mind this use i will remove it)


No problem with use of the pics of course – and yes – that is an excellent suggestion concerning the attribution.  My first inclination is to accept it (as the best guess).

Regarding the interpretation of the change - in terms of the political economy - my initial hunch would be different – that Raziyyah maybe did not have effective control of large parts of the government bureaucracy – and that the officials who did have the power to control that particular output – of the very base Delhi bull and horseman type - did not recognise her, and therefore minted anonymously.  But that is just a guess.

Its long since I read what I believe is our chief source for the period - Juzjani's Tabakat –  published around 1260?  My sense was the problem with that text was not that Juzjani knew too little about contemporary events, but that he knew too much.  That he suppressed a great deal of what he knew as being too politically sensitive to mention.  The translator, Raverty, seems to take that line too, as I recall.  Some of it perhaps remains sensitive even today.

Regarding the more general politics of coin issue and interpretation – a little while back I mentioned some concerns about Federov's work.  The ONS published a lot of Federov's stuff.  At the time Qarakhanid coin was little seen and little understood in the West, and Stan Goron was keen to get articles delving into the matter.  But Federov was mixing his attributional work with what I judged a very simplistic and misleading account of the so called "silver famine".  I wrote to Stan to complain about that.  Amusing thus to discover now, from Toofast, that even much of Federov's attributional work was wrong.

The passage on "Silver Famine" in Steve Album's checklist (II & III) remains a memento of debates at that time.  It's a convoluted piece.  Rather like Juzjani, I judge Steve was wearing a diplomatic hat when he wrote it :), but it deserves careful reading.  The piece I recommended yesterday, by Deyell, I would make a big step forward from all those positions.  At root I have a different perspective on the Indo-Moslem economy, but all the same, that Deyell effort is surely a masterpiece, in my eyes anyhow.