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Auction 268  8-9 Feb 2023
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5 days 1 hr 4 min

Estimate: 100 000 GBP
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E.I.C. Bombay Presidency

The King of English East India Company coins – the celebrated Bombay gold Mohur, 1765


East India Company, Bombay Presidency, Early coinages: English design, gold Mohur of 15 Rupees, 1765, Company arms, english east india company around, rev. bombay 1765, floral ornaments above and below, 10.95g/9h (Prid. 4 [not in Sale]; Stevens 2.93; KM. 186; F 1550). An exceptional coin, extremely fine with red tone and probably the finest known, excessively rare £100,000-£150,000

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Provenance: R.J. Ford (Detroit, MI) Collection [from Baldwin (London)]
Wolfson Trust Collection, Sotheby Auction (London), 13 February 1986, lot 312, illustrated on the front cover of the catalogue.

Owner's ticket and envelope.

It is believed that three, or possibly four, other specimens are known:
1). P.J.E. Stevens Collection (the Stevens, KM. and Friedberg plate coin, struck from the same dies as the present specimen), ex Sir John Wheeler Collection (lot 68), 'Skanda' (L.B. Brilliant) Collection (lot 618), V.M. Brand Collection, Part IX (lot 159, purchased from Spink May 1910), J.G. Murdoch Collection (lot 41);
2). British Museum 1841-10-28-1, the Pridmore plate coin (struck from a different rev. die);
3). H. Montagu Collection (lot 59), ex Major-General Henry Hyde, R.E. (1824-87, Master of the Calcutta Mint 1861-76, and by private treaty to Montagu);
4). A specimen is recorded as being in the collection of the Nagar philatelist and numismatist Krishna Gopalkrishna Kadekodi (1917-2019) (Times of India, 4 October 2019).

It is possible that coin 3) is also the present piece, but the lack of a 19th century illustration forbids a firm attribution.

The first authenticated gold coinage for the Bombay presidency was authorised in the wake of a shortage of silver coin. In July 1765 the Bombay Council considered the cost of recoining Venetian ducats and in November agreed that the new coins were to contain pure Venetian gold of 24-carat standard and to pass current for 15 rupees. A total of some 4,000 mohurs by face value of the new coins, including their fractions, were struck and by a public notice of 8 January 1766, the coins entered circulation
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