Author Topic: British Occupation of Java  (Read 11159 times)

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BC Numismatics

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British Occupation of Java
« on: July 12, 2007, 09:00:27 AM »
Here's another section that will be of interest to both Peter & Richie,as well as myself.It is the coins of the British Occupation of Java.I have got an example of the rare 1815 1 Stiver,which is a large copper coin.

Aidan.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2007, 02:34:00 PM »
Until such time, here is a pic of that coin in my collection. They were weakly struck in the first place and my copy was made worse, probably by being partially exposed to moisture.

These coins are emergency issues. The Napoleonic wars had cut connections with Europe and all copper had to be imported from Japan. The mint at Surabaya, where these were struck, had little machinery. As you can see, lettering is uneven and the design simple and without details. Things are similar for the duit (KM 240 and 240a) and the rupee (KM 247). The tin duit (KM 244) was better struck, presumably because the metal is softer. Strangely, my copper half stuiver (KM 241) is clearly struck.

All coins carry the EIC bale mark or name, although the islands were occupied in the name of the Prince of Orange. Raffles had no intention of giving the islands back. He was out of touch with the backlash on colonialism that had taken place in London.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 07:13:47 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2007, 05:13:58 PM »
Aidan, or Peter,
Why would coins issued during EIC (and/or British?) occupation of Java recieve Dutch denominations?
Is that because the occupation was, at least officially, considered to be a temporary measure?

richie

Offline Figleaf

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2007, 07:11:48 PM »
Taking over a country is not a small enterprise. The modus operandi of the raj was more or less:

a. fix the rate of the country's old currency in terms of British money
b. limit payments in light coins
c. withdraw any old banknotes and build up a credit in London
d. beat back local government wanting to issue new paper or lightweight coins, complaining of scarcity of money
e. bring British (or British colonial) coins in circulation
f. withdraw old coins

Raffles came into power in the Netherlands East Indies in 1811. On 26th October 1811 he replaced the Rijksdaalder  by the Spanish colonial 8 reales (step a). In 1815 he withdrew the bonks and restricted payment in copper to 80 reales (step b).

He couldn't go any farther because in 1816, the islands were returned to the Netherlands, so he just never got to step e.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 18, 2007, 08:37:17 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2007, 08:28:11 PM »
Thanks Peter.
I just read an account of Raffles on the web. Wow.  He seems like a man worthy of being lauded. 
In terms of his worldly interests (archeology! Among others) and his humane treatment and regard for the Malays, he was a man ahead of his times. Or is there an opposing  view of this man?

I heard of him, sure.  I guess I assumed he was a typical (the use of this word reveals my bias I'm afraid) arrogant self centered privileged British Empire builder.

But then, I guess he had to deal with people like that. Thanks for the info.  I hadn't realised that the relationship between the Netherlands and England was so complicated!  We Americans are so naive.
Richie
richie

Offline Figleaf

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 12:10:06 AM »
Or is there an opposing  view of this man?

From the Dutch point of view, the man was a constant threat to peace, oblivious to instructions from London and a treaty breaker. If you read between the Wiki lines you will find that he had detractors all his life because of that. Not that my ancestors were saints. On the contrary. However, two negatives do not make a positive. On the other hand, his respect for the Asians and their culture and his ability to speak Malay are not acknowledged enough by those few Dutchmen who still know something about history.

His anti-slavery stance was at odds with his approval of convict labour. It reminds me of the story of a British judge who sentenced a lawyer to deportation to Australia for contempt of court and confessed later that he didn't know what it meant.

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

Offline Figleaf

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2007, 08:33:04 AM »
Peter,my 1815 1 Stiver is the only coin from this country under British occupation that I have seen.

Here is one of the most difficult of the series, the silver rupee 1813.

obv: 5-leaved flower, Javanese script KEMPNI HINGGLIS JASA HING SURA PRINGGA - English company struck in Surabaya. The Z below is for the mintmaster of Surabaya, J. A. Zwekkert.
rev: Arabic script HINGLISH SIKKA KOMPANI SANAH 1228 DJURIBA DAR DJAZIRAT DJAWA - English company year 1228 struck in the house of the island of Java.

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

BC Numismatics

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2007, 09:56:23 AM »
Is that silver 1 Rupee in your collection? I am surprised that you can read Javanese,let alone Arabic.

It looks like the earlier & later Javanese 1 Rupee coins,but the date is the giveaway that it is the British occupation issue.

Aidan.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2007, 10:57:27 PM »
Is that silver 1 Rupee in your collection? I am surprised that you can read Javanese,let alone Arabic.

Yes, it is in my collection. I do not read Javanese and my knowledge of Arabic is limited to what I've learned from one book. The texts came from C. Scholten's The Coins of the Dutch Overseas Territories, Amsterdam, 1951 (I am using the Dutch version).

Reading Arabic on coins is difficult, even for Arabic speakers. Letters are often deformed, spelling mistakes abound (not in the least because in some coutries the engravers could not write Arabic) and dies are often too big for flans. A text in a catalog may therefore be the product of the efforts of several numismatists. A good example is the Kas series of Pulicat struck after 1646 (KM 35, 36.2, 38, 39, 42, 43). For a considerable time, the legend remained unexplained. Scholten read "Rabb/Sultan/Abd", but modern research has established that the legend should be read as "(in the name of)/Sultan/Abd/Allah".

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

Offline Rangnath

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2008, 08:25:29 PM »
Oesho posts the following:

The commentary for the following posted coins is as follows:

* Java BEIC Rupee AH 1232 / Aki Saka 1743 (= AD1816) Ref.: Scholten #596; KM
#247.
These pieces seem to have been struck by the Dutch, on account of the minute
M, engraved on the Be of Zarb. In 1816, under Dutch rule (thus after August
29th, when the Dutch flag was raised at Surabaya), coins of British design
were still being struck for private account, according the rapport of Van
Leeuwen of May 19, 1825. They are supposedly recognizable by a very small M
(presumably the initial of the native engraver Inche Maimin)

* close up of "M"

* Java BEIC Rupee AH 1232 / Aki Saka 1744 over 1743 (AD 1817) Ref.: Scholten
#597b; KM #247.
Remarks as above.

* Java BEIC copper doit 1812, w/o Z below the date. Ref.: Scholten #611; KM
#240.
Regarding the copper stivers, ½ stuivers and doits, there aere no official
reports giving the number of pieces in each year but according to the report
of Van Leeuwen of May 19, 1825, during this period (1811-1815) 477,760
guilders and 6 stivers worth of copper coins were struck at Surabaya. The
mint for copper at Surabaya closed on 1st of August 1815. On account of its
light weight, the English money was not very popular.

* Java BEIC copper ½ stiver 1813, with an oblique 3. Ref.: Scholten #606e;
KM #241.

* Java BEIC copper ½ stiver 1815. Ref.: Scholten #608; KM #241.

* Java BEIC tin doit 1813. Ref.: Scholten #613; KM #244.
Through lack of copper the Mint at Surabaya was unable to supply a
sufficient amount of copper coins and in 1813 it was decided to start
coining doits op pure Banka tin at Batavia. From now on apparently only
copper ½ stivers were struck at Surabaya. The minting at Batavia ceased in
October 1814.

* Java BEIC tin doit 1814. Ref. : Scholten #614 ; KM #244.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 08:32:10 PM by Rangnath »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2008, 09:29:50 PM »
These are beautifully preserved coins, and on top of that, some of them, like the 1232 are rarities. As if that's not enough, they also illustrate an important point. Coins can lie. If you don't know their history, you'd have said that the Rupee was struck under British rule.

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

Offline thelawnet

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2008, 03:51:18 PM »
Yes, it is in my collection. I do not read Javanese and my knowledge of Arabic is limited to what I've learned from one book. The texts came from C. Scholten's The Coins of the Dutch Overseas Territories, Amsterdam, 1951 (I am using the Dutch version).

Reading Arabic on coins is difficult, even for Arabic speakers. Letters are often deformed, spelling mistakes abound (not in the least because in some coutries the engravers could not write Arabic) and dies are often too big for flans. A text in a catalog may therefore be the product of the efforts of several numismatists. A good example is the Kas series of Pulicat struck after 1646 (KM 35, 36.2, 38, 39, 42, 43). For a considerable time, the legend remained unexplained. Scholten read "Rabb/Sultan/Abd", but modern research has established that the legend should be read as "(in the name of)/Sultan/Abd/Allah".

Peter

There is an excellent book - in English - available on Google books, or from the Indian publishers (reprint from a 1931 Spink publication) Asian Educational Services - Coins of the Dutch East India, which explains much background information about these coins. The book is very cheaply priced at 495 rupees (about $10), although the publishers have not responded to my inquiry about shipping costs yet. Western book dealers want around $80 for this book. 90% of the pages are available on Google books, though you may have to clear your cookies and renew your IP address after you view a certain number of pages.

Do you have any sources for these coins?

Offline thelawnet

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2008, 04:36:31 PM »
Oesho posts the following:

The commentary for the following posted coins is as follows:

* Java BEIC Rupee AH 1232 / Aki Saka 1743 (= AD1816) Ref.: Scholten #596; KM
#247.
These pieces seem to have been struck by the Dutch, on account of the minute
M, engraved on the Be of Zarb. In 1816, under Dutch rule (thus after August
29th, when the Dutch flag was raised at Surabaya), coins of British design
were still being struck for private account, according the rapport of Van
Leeuwen of May 19, 1825. They are supposedly recognizable by a very small M
(presumably the initial of the native engraver Inche Maimin)

According to Bucknill, the treaty of London returned Java to the Dutch in 1814, but the news did not reach the island until February 4th 1815. Raffles responded by sending J Crawford, Resident at Surabaya a letter on July 8th instructing him to close the gold and silver mint immediately, and the copper mint was instructed to be closed on August 1st by letter of 13th July.

The mint was closed on August 1st, and the copper and cannon metal in store was sold for silver coin, while the gold in store was coined by the mint master. Crawford requested permission that the mintmaster, Zwekkert, should be allowed to continue to produce silver and gold coinage for individuals that requested it, in order to save the mint from dilapidation. This was granted. Formal governmental control was only handed over to the Dutch on August 16 1916.

This explains why British duits and stuivers were being minted in 1815 when Java was officially Dutch in 1814 - the colonial powers effected an orderly (2 years!) transition of their colonies.

But you also find that the Dutch at home had already started minting copper Indies duits in 1814 and 1815, which were all brought into circulation in 1806. So there is quite an overlap.

On the gold, the demand is interesting to note:

'November 1814 8th Coinage: for Deans, Scott & Co. 276.6 reals Gold Dust: 1056 gold half rupees delivered 5/12/1814'
'November 1814 9th Coinage: for Deans, Scott & Co. 448.21 reals Chinese Gold: 1917 gold half rupees delivered 27/12/1814'
'January 1815 11th Coinage: for Said Hassan Baharoen. 343.18 reals Gold Dust: 1159 gold half rupees delivered 27/12/1814'

Total mintage in 1814 was 6 lots of 4000 gold half rupees, 1815 10 lots, and 1816, only 2000 gold half rupees. It's quite curious in modern times to think of people wanting their gold to be melted and turned into coinage, but that was the way things worked - a few rich individuals or jewellers brought substantial quantities of gold to the mint and had hundreds or thousands of coins created.

The silver coinage was manufactured in much greater quantity - by 'order of the Dutch Commissioners-General of November 1st 1816' it was granted that the mint-master could continue to issue the British-style gold and silver rupees for a period, expedient in view of the vast quantities of silver they had brought with them from Europe, so AFTER their return, on British dies, between November 1816 and 1817, 260,000 guilders-worth were made for the Dutch government, and 25,000 for individuals. It turned out that the mint was being ineffectively run, and running at a loss, and it was closed in June 1817 - while most of the silver rupees ended up being melted down or shipped off to China as (more valuable) bullion.

I believe the 1817 rupees are actually the last silver coinage to have been minted until the 1970s and 2000s commemorative coins (I'm not sure if these were minted in Indonesia - the 1970s have a baguette-shaped mintmark), although there are some valuable 20th Century Batavain assayer's bullion.

It's interesting to note that the vacuum of power at the end of World War 2, caused by the Japanese NOT sticking around in Java and Sumatra, essentially created the conditions for 4 years of warfare in those islands and eventually Indonesian independence.

Quote
* Java BEIC copper doit 1812, w/o Z below the date. Ref.: Scholten #611; KM
#240.
Regarding the copper stivers, ½ stuivers and doits, there aere no official
reports giving the number of pieces in each year but according to the report
of Van Leeuwen of May 19, 1825, during this period (1811-1815) 477,760
guilders and 6 stivers worth of copper coins were struck at Surabaya. The
mint for copper at Surabaya closed on 1st of August 1815. On account of its
light weight, the English money was not very popular.

* Java BEIC tin doit 1813. Ref.: Scholten #613; KM #244.
Through lack of copper the Mint at Surabaya was unable to supply a
sufficient amount of copper coins and in 1813 it was decided to start
coining doits op pure Banka tin at Batavia. From now on apparently only
copper ½ stivers were struck at Surabaya. The minting at Batavia ceased in
October 1814.

The tin duits were even less popular than the copper ones, but tin was all that was available, following an unsuccessful experiment with melted cannon that destroyed the equipment, and with Calcutta being unable to supply the requested copper coinage due to its operating at full capacity. Although 50 million were produced, several million were returned to the mint, and the Dutch administration refused to accept them as valid currency upon their return.

BC Numismatics

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2008, 09:51:44 PM »
The Netherlands Indies also had silver coins as well.In fact,the silver 1/10 & 1/4 Gulden coins were still in circulation as late as 1945.They were all struck at the Royal Dutch Mint in Utrecht,apart from the 1942-45 issues,which were struck in America.

The coins of the British Occupation of Java are not very well-known among most collectors of British Commonwealth coins.Hopefully,by education,we can change this,& stir a bit of interest.I was certainly very pleased when I picked up the 1815 1 Stiver.

Aidan.

BC Numismatics

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Re: British Occupation of Java
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009, 12:30:30 AM »
For those who were asking about photo of my coin,you can go here; http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=all&ppuser=1635 .

Please let me know what you think both here & on Zeno.

Aidan.