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Gold ashrafi coin of Fath cAli Shah


Diameter: 2.100 cm
Weight: 3.440 g

CM BMC Shahs of Iran, no. 484

Coins and Medals

    Gold ashrafi coin of Fath cAli Shah

    Qajar dynasty, AH 1249 / AD 1833
    From Isfahan, Iran

    A portrait coin from the Islamic world

    Because of the unease regarding the representation of human images in Islam, figures are rarely placed on coins. Indeed, throughout Islamic art, human images are relatively rare.

    On this gold ashrafi Fath cAli Shah, the Qajar ruler of Iran (1797-1834) is shown crowned and armed with a sabre, seated on his throne in a style typical of oil paintings and sculpture of the dynasty (1794-1925). The Arabic inscription on the reverse of the coin tells us that it was struck in Isfahan in the year AH 1249. This is AD 1833 in the Christian calendar.

    R.S. Poole, Catalogue of the coins of the (London, 1887)


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    Illustrated history of Islamic art, £16.99

    Illustrated history of Islamic art, £16.99