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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Medieval & Modern Coins| ▸ |Islamic||View Options:  |  |  | 

Islamic Coins

The first Islamic coins copied the coins of the Sassanians and Byzantines. The first changes were minor with only the addition of short phrases in Arabic and sometimes the addition of hijra dates. A reform by ʿAbd al-Malik changed the coinage drastically. The new coins, following the traditions of Islam had no images, only inscriptions in Arabic that assert the oneness of Allah and Muḥammad as His last Messenger. Nevertheless, there have been lots of coinages by Muslim rulers with images and inscriptions in other languages, and lots of coinages by non-Muslims that have Arabic inscriptions and no images.

Islamic, Sphero-Conical "Mercury" Vessel, 9th - 15th Century

|Medieval| |Artifacts|, |Islamic,| |Sphero-Conical| |"Mercury"| |Vessel,| |9th| |-| |15th| |Century|
Sphero-conical vessels have been found from the Levante to Central Asia, dating from the 9th to 15th century A.D. More than 30 are in the Palestine Archaeological Museum and many others in collections in Jerusalem. Shape, style and decor vary greatly. They have been identified as vessels, fire grenades, aeolipiles, plumb bobs, and decorative finials.

R. Ettinghausen in "The Use of Sphero-Conical Vessels in the Muslim East" (1965) discusses specimens that have been found with traces of Mercury inside. In the Muslim world, mercury was used in medicinal drugs for headaches, paralysis, palsy, deafness, insanity, and loss of vision, as a tonic, and in salves employed against scabs, itch and mange. It was used in veterinary medicines and as poison against lice, mice, snakes and scorpions. In industry, it was used for backing of mirrors and embellishments. Ettinghausen notes, however, that despite conclusive evidence for use as mercury containers, this was not their exclusive function.

A. Ghouchani and C. Adle in "A Sphero-Conical Vessel as Fuqqa'a, or a Gourd for 'Beer'" (1992) provide convincing evidence that some of these vessels, especially some inscribed with Kufic, were used for storing and drinking beer. Examples of inscriptions include:
"As long as it is full, they will kiss it, When empty they will drop it."
"Do not give your heart to woman, because they will make a gourd of beer out of a man."
"Drink to your good health."
Literature and inscriptions indicate the "gourds" were placed in ice to cool the beer and the beer was under pressure and would gush out after the gourd was opened.

In one case, these "gourds" were actually used as grenades. The Arab historian Al-Damiri (1341 - 1404), wrote, "There are deadly scorpions around Nasibayn. It is said that they originated from Shahr-i Zur. A king encircled Nasibayn. He took the scorpions and put them into beer gourds and catapulted them into the city!"
AA99527. See Ettinghausen (1965) and Ghouchani-Adle (1992) for discussions of the type, near Choice, repaired crack, chips, tip of "cone" missing; 13.5cm tall, 12cm diameter, probably pre-Mongol, 9th - mid 13th century; unusual pine-cone decor (we did not find another in references or online), ex Mera Antiq (Yossi Eilon, Tel Aviv, 25 Jun 2013), found in Israel; $450.00 (423.00)

Lot of 8 Byzantine Follii and Arab Pseudo-Byzantine Fals, 7th Century A.D.

|Byzantine| |Bulk| |Lots|, |Lot| |of| |8| |Byzantine| |Follii| |and| |Arab| |Pseudo-Byzantine| |Fals,| |7th| |Century| |A.D.||Lot|NEW
LT113399. Bronze Lot, 8 Byzantine follii and Arab pseudo-Byzantine fals, 20.1mm - 24.5mm, Mostly VF, with attractive patinas, 7th century A.D.; no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photograph, as-is, no returns, 8 coins; $180.00 (169.20)

Islamic, Seljuqs of Rum, Suleiman (Sulayman) II b. Qilij Arslan, 1196 - 1204 A.D.

|Islamic|, |Islamic,| |Seljuqs| |of| |Rum,| |Suleiman| |(Sulayman)| |II| |b.| |Qilij| |Arslan,| |1196| |-| |1204| |A.D.||fals|
Suleiman ibn Qutulmish founded the Rum Sultanate, with its capital at Konya (Iconium to the Romans), after he defeated the Byzantine emperor Romanus IV in 1077 A.D. and overran much of Anatolia. "Rum" was the Persian name for Rome and the Seljuqs called Anatolia "Rum" because it was part of the Roman-Byzantine Empire for centuries. The Seljuks ruled in Anatolia independently until 1243, and thereafter until 1302 as vassals of the Mongol Ilkhans. It was the last surviving Seljuk territory.Seljuqs_of_Rum
IS98874. Bronze fals, Album 1205.2, Mitchiner WOI 963, F, flan flaw (pit) on reverse, edge cracks, weight 5.642 g, maximum diameter 33.8 mm, die axis 135o, Konya(?) mint, AH 595 - 600; obverse nimbate horseman right, mace in right over shoulder, star behind; reverse Arabic inscription in three lines: al-sultan al-qahir / Suleiman Shah bin / Qilij Arslan; Arabic date in margin, no mint named (as always); $80.00 (75.20)

Islamic, Artuqids of Mardin, Husam al-Din Timurtash, 516 - 547 A.H., 1122 - 1152 A.D.

|Islamic|, |Islamic,| |Artuqids| |of| |Mardin,| |Husam| |al-Din| |Timurtash,| |516| |-| |547| |A.H.,| |1122| |-| |1152| |A.D.||dirham|
Mardin is located in southeastern Turkey. The capital of Mardin Province, it is known for its Arab-style architecture, and for its strategic location on a rocky mountain overlooking the plains of northern Syria.

Album notes of this type, "the date and mint name Mardin are both usually too stylized to be legible." Spengler and Sayles note, "This scarce, strange coin type confused numismatic scholars for almost a century until Nicholas Lowick provided a cogent reading of its legends in 1974."
IS110192. Bronze dirham, Spengler-Sayles I 25, Album 1826.2 (R), Mitchiner WOI 1023, Hennequin BnF 938, Edhem 46, Butak 30, aVF, dark patina, red earthen deposits, tight flan with a ragged edge, weight 4.870 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 90o, Mardin mint, AH 542 or 543 (off flan), 1147 - 1149 A.D.; obverse Kufic legend: Billh li-darbihi bi-Mrd n f sanah thalath wa arba' n wa khamsami'a (by God, struck in Mardin, year five forty two [or three?]), Late Roman style bearded, diademed and draped bust right, pseudo Latin legend in fields before and behind; reverse Kufic legend: al-Amr al-'lim Husm al Din Malik al-umar Zahr amir al-mu'minn (The emir, the wise, Husam, the faithful prince of caliph Zahir), Kufic inscription in three lines: Timurtsh ibn / Il-Ghz ibn Artuq / al-malik al-'dil (Timurtash son of emir Artaq the just); first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; scarce; $80.00 (75.20)

The Early Islamic Architecture of the East African Coast, 1966, by Peter S. Garlake

|Antiquities| |Books|, |The| |Early| |Islamic| |Architecture| |of| |the| |East| |African| |Coast,| |1966,| |by| |Peter| |S.| |Garlake|
An exhaustive study of the distinctive architecture of the Muslim people of the Swahili coast, giving an account of the buildings when it was at it's height before the 16th century and tracing the later development of the architecture down to the middle of the 19th century.
BK18241. The Early Islamic Architecture of the East African Coast by Peter S. Garlake, ex library of Alex Malloy, hardcover, dust-cover wear and small tears, 207 pages, illustrated, with fold-out plats of buildings, international shipping at the actual cost of postage, when we listed online prices for this title ranged from $150 - $268; $40.00 (37.60)

The Coinage of the Ayyubids

|Medieval| |&| |Modern| |Books|, |The| |Coinage| |of| |the| |Ayyubids|
Please note that for orders shipped outside the USA, the shopping cart shipping charges may be too low if you order larger heavy books. We may ask for additional payment to cover the actual cost of postage. If the actual cost of postage is too high, we will understand if you cancel the order.
BK40234. The Coinage of the Ayyubids by Paul Balog, Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication Number 12, London, 1980, 334 pages, 50 plates, hardcover, dust jacket, new; $27.00 (25.38) Out of Stock!

Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi A.L, Nadir Osmanli Madeni Paralari, No. 1 1972 and No. 8 1975

|Auction| |Catalogs|, |Yapi| |ve| |Kredi| |Bankasi| |A.L,| |Nadir| |Osmanli| |Madeni| |Paralari,| |No.| |1| |1972| |and| |No.| |8| |1975|
Istanbul, Structure and Credit Bank A.L, Rare Ottoman Coins, No. 1 1972, No. 8 1975.
BL23644. Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi A.L, Nadir Osmanli Madeni Paralari, No. 1 1972 and No. 8 1975, in Turkish, small booklet style, 35 total items with plates, cover age and wear; $4.00 (3.76) Out of Stock!

Islamic, Samanid, Nuh bin Nasr, 331 - 343 AH, 943-954 A.D., Citing the Abbasid Caliph al Mustakfi

|Islamic|, |Islamic,| |Samanid,| |Nuh| |bin| |Nasr,| |331| |-| |343| |AH,| |943-954| |A.D.,| |Citing| |the| |Abbasid| |Caliph| |al| |Mustakfi||dinar|
Nuh came to power after preventing a revolt against his father, Nasr. Several army officers, unhappy over Nasr's support of Ismaili missionaries, met to plot his assassination. Nuh learned of the meeting, arrived in surprise and killed the leader. To placate the others, he promised to put an end to the activities of the Ismailis, and convinced his father to abdicate in his favor.

A faithful supporter of the Abbasid caliph al-Mustakfi, Nuh struck coins in the caliph's name before he was elected, after he was deposed in 338H, and even after his death.

In the obverse margin legend, in the Qur'an verse "The Romans," Allah tells the believers that the Romans are defeated but they will gain a victory against Persians: "Within a few years. The command lies with Allah in the past instance as well as in the future. On that day the believers will rejoice." The prophecy is said to date shortly after the Byzantines (Romans) lost Jerusalem in 614 when Persians destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and seized the "True Cross." In 622, Heraclius gained a number of victories over the Persians and conquered Armenia.
SH65410. Gold dinar, Bernardi 353Pj, Album 1454, gVF, weight 4.293 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Nishapur mint, 340 AH; obverse margin: Qur, field: No God but Allah only and nobody is his partner in deity; reverse margin: Qur, field: For Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, al-Mustakfi billah caliph, amir Nuh, son of Nasr; ex Stack's Bowers and Ponterio sale 172, part of lot 11859; scarce; SOLD



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See Islamic in NumisWiki for a complete list of Islamic Coin references used by Forum Ancient Coins.

Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
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