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Auction 308  1-2 Oct 2024
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71 days 19 hr 11 min

Estimate: 15 000 GBP
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The Puddester Collection (Part II): The Uniform Coinage of India

An extremely rare currency issue Double-Mohur, 1835


The Uniform Coinage of India, East India Company, William IV, gold 2 Mohurs, 1835, Calcutta, bust left, rs [Robert Saunders] on truncation, william iiii , king . and date with stop to right, rev. lion walking left, palm-tree behind, east india company above, two mohurs, do ashrafi in exergue, edge grained, 23.28g/12h (Prid. 1 [not in Sale]; SW 1.3; KM. 452.1; F 1592; cf. Sincona 66, 1537 [= Baldwin 54, 989]; cf. Baldwin 75, 1465). Good very fine, extremely rare £15,000-£20,000

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Provenance: Taisei/Baldwin/Gillio Auction 27 (Singapore), 27 February 1997, lot 700, label.

Owner's envelope.

Robert Gordon's interpretation of Peter Rouw's model of John Flaxman's classic design for a new Indian coinage, executed in 1823 (see Puddester I, lot 562), was subsequently utilised by Kasinath Dass, whose dual appointment at the Calcutta mint as Head Die Cutter and Copper Plate Engraver was confirmed on 1 May 1834. Matrices and punches for the proposed reform of the coinage were prepared in the summer of 1834 and pattern rupees submitted to the Mint Master, Robert Saunders (1792-1856), and the Mint Committee. These patterns depicted Flaxman's lion as the obverse, paired with a value-in-wreath reverse (Prid. 171; see Lot 1026), but Saunders and his committee reported at the end of March 1835 that the new coins had to feature the head of the reigning monarch on the obverse and either Flaxman's lion or the value expressed on the reverse. Further minor amendments to the designs were implemented in the summer of 1835, preparatory to the adoption of Act XVII, 17 August 1835, which authorised the coinage changes throughout India. After some initial objections to the featuring of an animal on the reverses of the new gold coins, Sir Charles Metcalfe (1785-1846), the acting Governor-General, ordered that Flaxman's lion be adopted and so dies were prepared in December 1835 and the first mohurs and double-mohurs entered circulation on New Year's Day, 1836. By the end of 1837 only 1,174 double-mohurs had been struck, of which perhaps 20 exist today, many in institutional collections; the coin is far more frequently encountered in commerce as a proof restrike
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