Karim Khan-The founder of Zand dynasty

2019-05-08 Wed

The Zand dynasty was an Iranian dynasty that initially ruled southern and central part of Iran in the 18th century. It later expanded to the rest of contemporary Iran, as well as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, and parts of Iraq and Armenia.

The dynasty was founded by the Karim Khan, chief of the Zand tribe, a small and little known tribe of Laks. By 1760 Karim Khan had defeated all his rivals and controlled all of Iran except Khorasan. The years from 1765 to Karim Khan's death in 1779 marked the zenith of Zand rule. He made his capital Shiraz and ordered the contraction of several architectural projects there.

During the reign he issued gold and silver coins in the denomination of Mohur, Shahi, Abbasi, and Rupee. These coins were struck at various mints such as Astarabad, Basra, Ganjah, Iravan, Isfahan, Kashan, Khoy, Kirman, Qazvin, Qomm, Rasht, Shiraz, Yazd, Tabriz etc.

Depicted above is gold Quarter Mohur issued during his reign from Dar al-'Ibada Yazd mint. The obverse of a coin depicted the Couplet 'Shud aftab o mah zar o sim dar jahan Az sekke-ye Imam be-haqq Saheb oz-Zaman' meaning (The sun and moon have become gold and silver throughout the world, from the coin of the Imam, indeed the Master of Time). On the other hand, the reverse of a coin has Mint epithet and date in ornamental 8-petal flower surrounded by multiple outer marginal circles.

Image Source: Heritage Auctions