Morton & Eden Ltd
Auction 99  2 May 2019
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Lot 64

Estimate: 22 000 GBP
Price realized: 36 000 GBP
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SPAIN, CASTILLA, TEMP. ALFONSO VII (c.544-548h) Dinar, Bayyasa 548h Obverse: In field: Allah | la ilaha illa | Muhammad rasul Allah | Allah wali al-din | amuna Obverse: In margin: Qur'an iii.85 (part) Reverse: In field: al-Imam | 'Abd | Allah | amir al-mu'minin | al-'Abbasi | letter sin Reverse: In margin: bismillah duriba hadha l-dinar (sic) bi-Bayyasa 'alm thaman wa arba'in wa khams mi'at Weight: 3.87g References: Album M407; Diler - Published: (where incorrectly dated 542h and with reverse margin wrongly read) Good very fine and excessively rare. The city of Baeza is located in the Spanish province of Jaen, and situated high on a cliff about three miles from the right bank of the Guadalquivir river. It was a large and important Muslim city during the 5/11th-6/12th centuries when some estimates suggest that as may as 50,000 people may have lived there – three times its present-day population. Baeza was captured from the Hudids in 541h by Alfonso VII of Castille, who re-established its Christian bishopric (originally instituted in Visigothic times but long suppressed under Muslim rule) and built a cathedral there. Twelve years later, however, the Muslims retook the city and Alfonso's new cathedral was converted into a mosque. For a further seventy years the city remained under Muslim control until it was retaken by Ferdinand III. Baeza suffered extensively during the fighting and never regained its former significance, its bishopric being merged with that of Jaen soon afterwards. With the possible exception of a single Almoravid dinar dated 497h (Hazard 106), the only known coins from Bayyasa date from this twelve-year period between 541-553h when the city was under Christian control. Although there is nothing overtly Christian about the legends on these coins, dinars issued between 544-546h include the remarkable phrase bi- 'ayar Qastiliya, 'according to the standard of Castille,' confirming that the city was indeed subject to Castilian authority at this time. The coins themselves, however, are still very similar to contemporary Almoravid issues in their style and legends. The only secular ruler acknowledged on them is named as al-'Abbasi, identified by the 'Dynasty Collection' cataloguer as the Abbasid caliph al-Muqtafi. This would be puzzling, given that Spain had no history of allegiance to the Abbasid caliphate while al-Muqtafi's influence barely extended beyond Baghdad at this time, unless this very distance made him a sufficiently neutral figure as to be acceptable to both Christians and Muslims.

(22000-28000 GBP)
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