Silver Rupee of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula

28 Feb 2018  Wed

The accession of Asaf-ud-Daula, the fourth Nawab of Awadh, brought a great change in Awadh politics. Under the rule of Asaf-ud-Daula, the court of Lucknow became utterly magnificent.

The most important outcome of Asaf-ud-daula consolidation of the court at Lucknow, was the emergence of a powerful Shia culture, in constant interaction with the Shia heart lands of Iran & Iraq. The increasing number of Shia emigrants from Iranian cities veritably transformed Lucknow into a great intellectual centre.

An extremely rare silver rupee was issued by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula from Anupnagar Shahabad mint in AH 1189. The obverse has a Persian legend ‘Sikka Zad Bar Haft Kishwara (Saya) Fazl Ilah Hami Deen Muhammad Shah Alam Badshah’ with AH 1189. The reverse of the coin is inscribed with legend ‘Zarb Anupnagar Shahabad Sanah 17 Julus Mainamat Manus’ and Trishul mint mark.

Anupnagar Shahabad is perhaps the rarest mint of Awadh, known from not more than 3-4 specimens, including one in the British Museum from the RB whitehead collection. The location of this Shahabad is not certain, but it is most likely Shahabad near Qanauj. The ‘Anup nagar’ indicates that the issue of the coins was probably linked with the powerful courtier Anup Gir Gossain, aka Himmat Bahadur, who served as an important mercenary commander in the army of the Nawab of Awadh. The mint mark of the Trishul corroborates this connection.

This silver Rupee was sold for INR 1,10,000 by Classical Numismatic Gallery.

Image Courtesy: Classical Numismatic Gallery

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