Auction 268  8-9 Feb 2023
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5 days 2 hr 34 min

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

An exceptional and excessively rare Bombay gold 15 Rupees, 1770

East India Company, Bombay Presidency, Early coinages: English design, gold 15 Rupees, 1184h/1770, sikka mubarak sanah 9 alamgir badshah ghazi sanah 1184 [Auspicious coin of the 9th year of Alamgir, the victorious emperor, 1184], rev. bombay 1770 in two lines, floral ornaments above and at sides, 15 rup.s in exergue, 10.97g/6h (Prid. 7 [not in Sale]; Stevens 2.96; KM. 186; F 1550). A superb coin, extremely fine and well-struck, excessively rare £100,000-£150,000


Provenance: Lady Duveen Collection, Glendining Auction (London), 29-30 September 1964, lot 564
R.J. Ford (Detroit, MI) Collection [from Baldwin (London)]
Wolfson Trust Collection, Sotheby Auction (London), 13 February 1986, lot 314
'Skanda' (L.B. Brilliant) Collection, Spink/Taisei Auction 9 (Singapore), 20 February 1991, lot 619
Bt May 1999.

Owner's ticket and envelope.

It is believed that only three other specimens are known:
1). British Museum 1844-4-25-49, ex T. Thomas Collection, Part I (lot 1042), the Pridmore plate coin;
2). Ex P.J.E. Stevens Collection, Part V (Horizon I, lot 116), illustrated on website, Sir John Wheeler Collection (lot 70), J.W. Garrett Collection, Part I (lot 520), Collection...d'un Amateur Distingue à Bombay (Jacques Schulman Auction 163, 22-3 May 1928, lot 776);
3). Ex Numismatica Genevensis Auction 8, 24 November 2014 (lot 310), Numismatica Genevensis Auction 4, 11 December 2006 (lot 698), Collection...d'un Amateur Distingue à Bombay (Jacques Schulman Auction 163, 22-3 May 1928, lot 775).

With difficulties in the silver currency of Bombay still ongoing, the Governor, Thomas Hodges (†1771) proposed a new gold issue that took into account the advantages of coining gold rather than selling it as pure bullion. The 1765 gold coins had met with some resistance because they carried the Company's arms, so Hodges proposed introducing a new coin, the Bombay, with Persian legends on the obverse. These legends copied those on the contemporary rupees, naming the deceased emperor 'Alamgir II, rather than the name and titles of Shah 'Alam, which perhaps was indicative of the Company's preference to follow a directive made to the Surat Council in February 1760
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