Currency:INR Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:1,050,000.00 INR Estimated At:1,050,000.00 - 1,100,000.00 INR
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Awadh, Ghazi ud-Din Haidar, Silver Coronation Medal, 78.02g, Obv: Bust of king, three quarters profile in high relief, crowned and garlanded, background occupied by tracery of flowers, marginal Farsi legend in ornamental characters beginning under the king’s left shoulder “Sikkah zad bar seem wa az-fazl rab Dhu’l-muneen / Ghazi-ud-din Haider ala nasb Shah zaman, Sanah Ahd” (Struck coin on gold and silver by the grace of the great and Almighty God, Ghazi-ud-din Haidar, of lofty lineage, king of the world. Year one), Rev: Arms of the king in high relief within circular area. Two lions rampant holding flags on each of which appears a fish. Between them a dagger (katar) surmounted by a crown. Below the dagger two fishes forming a circle, head to head below streamer. Marginal legend in ornamental letters beginning opposite the right flag, “Ta-hazar sal shaha baqli umar tu bada; hazar sal bashai tu dar zaman Khuda” (O King! May your age last for a thousand years. May you live for a thousand years in the realm of God). Patinated, extremely fine+, exceedingly rare.
Awadh was declared an “Independent Kingdom” on 9th October 1819 and Ghaziuddin Haidar, the Nawab-Wazeer was now conferred with the title of 'King' by the East India Company. His coronation marks a break from the Indian courtly culture. He chose to adopt European symbols of kingship and was the first Indian king to do so. Thus, his crown and coat-of-arms have a clear European design. The medals struck on the occasion come in two varieties – one with a small letter ‘Jim’ on reverse, below the ribbon to the right, and the other without it. The designs for this medal and Ghaziuddin Haidar's coinage were made by court artists Roshan Lal and Jamiyat Rai. The latter chose to sign his work with the letter 'Jim' which is not present on this piece, so it is plausible that this must have been the artwork of Roshan Lal. It is also interesting to see that the term Sikka (=coin) instead of Taghma (=medal) is used in the obverse legend and the pieces correspond to weight of 7 rupees. For further reading, see article by Richard Burn, "The coronation medal of the first king of Oudh", Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Vol. III, part 2, 1941, pp.113-114.