Weight: 11.130 g
Coins and Medals
Silver rupee of Sa'adat, nawab of Oudh
From Lucknow, India, AD 1811
A token acknowledgement of Mughal suzerainty
As Mughal power declined in India during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, local princes who had taken control of their own districts began to issue their own silver rupees. This is a coin issued by one of the nawabs (rulers) of the region of Oudh (Awadh) in the Gangetic Plain of northern India. Many local rulers continued to acknowledge the Mughal emperor by featuring his name on their coins, long after their states had achieved independence from Mughal authority. This coin of Sa'adat, for example, has the name of the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II (reigned 759-1806). It is dated AH 1226 (AD 1811).
The coins were distinguishable as local, independent issues by their mint names and by the mint symbols appearing on them. On this coin, the stylised mint symbols of a fish, a triangular flag, a star and an ear of wheat, and the fixed date, 'Year 26', identify the mint as Lucknow. These symbols helped the state authorities and money changers recognize where the coins were made.
J. Williams (ed.), Money: a history (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)