MUGHAL: Jahangir, 1605-1628, AV zodiac mohur, Agra, AH1028 year 14

Chinese, Islamic, Indian, and Ancient Coins Up for Auction in September

Over 2700 Lots are Up for Auction September 10th to 12th over 6 sessions from Stephen Album Rare Coins. This auction is a continuation of an outstanding year for the business and this is one of the best auctions in their history. This auction carries a wide selection of Islamic and Indian coins, and coins from four important collections of Chinese numismatics. There are also many ancient coins and an array of coins from around the world. This auction also features one of the important consignments of the year; Part One of the Dr. Paul Stevens Collection of Indian Coins.

One of the highlighted Islamic Coins is right up in the first session at Lot 68, and is an Arab Byzantine piece. The description reads: ARAB-BYZANTINE: gold solidus (4.27g), NM, ND, A-3548.2, Miles (1967), Plate XLV:4, Bernardi-2, large & small facing busts, short beards / horizontal bar on steps, degenerate Greek text, officina letters AQ after AUGG on reverse, with Greek letter I left of the steps on reverse (for the number 10, perhaps an indiction year or the caliphal year of Mu’awiya), choice EF, RRRR, Derived from the second series of Heraclius (610-641) & his son Constantine, struck 613-629. The crosses atop the crowns replaced by globes, the cross in the field removed, the cross on the steps replaced by a horizontal bar. Current evidence seems to verify the theory that these imitations of Byzantine coins were official issues under the authority of the Umayyad caliph Mu’awiyah I (661-680). They are of excellent style, despite the somewhat barbarous Greek legends, too well engraved to be the casual production of unofficial mints. There is also a remarkable reference in a contemporary Syrian document, “The Maronite Chronicle”, which states that the caliph Mu’awaiya “minted gold and silver, but it was not accepted, because it had no cross on it”. Lot 68 carries an estimate of $40000 to $50000 and being such a must have piece it will sell with great interest.

A stunning Indian coin from Ancient times is available at Lot 1469. This Mughal coin carries a presale estimate of $50000 to $70000 and is a historical piece without compare. The full description gives the details: Jahangir, 1605-1628, gold zodiac mohur, Agra, AH1028 year 14, KM-180.19,BMC-350 (same obverse die), Capricorn (December/January), mythical creature, forepart of goat with scaled fish-like tail, crouching left, solar rays behind, NGC graded EF45, RRRR, Capricorn is one of the rarest of Jahangir’s zodiac mohurs. No specimen has been posted on CoinArchives. There is one specimen on, from the Ashmolean Museum and dated AH1033 year 18, from the same dies as the piece illustrated in KM. Examples of the early years of the Capricorn mohurs bear a complete border of solar rays, as on this piece, but later issues have three gaps in the border of rays, for the head,forelegs and tail of Capricorn. This example appears to be a die match for the obverse photographed example in Stanley Lane Poole’s Catalogue of the Coins of the Mughal Emperors in the British Museum, 1892.

The selection of Chinese coins is one of the best ever put forth in an auction. One great example is Lot 672 which is Laio coin that is one of the must haves for historical collectors. This is Da Kang, 1075-1084, silver 5 cash (29.71g), 35.5mm, cast in silver color, VF, RRRR, An extremely rare silver color multiple cash of the Liao Dynasty, of which only about six pieces are known. See the reference paper, “Dakang tongbao da yin qian (large silver cash coin of dakang tongbao)” in the book by Guan Hanting, “Zhonghua Zhen Quan Zhui Zong Lu,” Shanghai, 2001, ex Shèngbidébao Collection. This piece is expected to sell for over $35000 and bidder interest will be high on this, and the various collections of Chinese numismatics presented in this auction.

There are two sessions per day, on September 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2015. These auctions are available for live bidding only, so bidders can reference the online catalog to see when their pieces of interest will be up for auction. Registrations are open now, and full photos and descriptions are available for browsing anytime throughout the auction.

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