QAJAR, TEMP. MUHAMMAD SHAH (1250-1264h / AD 1834-1848). Gold five-mithqals, 1251h. Obverse: In centre: Ana hujjat Allah | wa khassatahu, ‘I am the Proof of God and chosen of Him,’ with the names of the Shi‘ite Imams around. Reverse: In centre: a Persian couplet meaning: ‘As long as God’s favour shall Earth retain, So shall the Coin of the Lord of Time remain.’. Weight: 23.27g. Reference: Rabino 41. Obverse centre a little weakly struck, very fine to good very fine and very rare Provenance: Ex Islamic Coin Auction 13, 30 October 2007, lot 626. This coin is anonymous, but Rabino identified it as an issue struck during the reign of the Qajar ruler Muhammad Shah and this attribution has been retained here. Muhammad Shah Qajar was introduced to Sufi doctrines by his tutor, Hajji Mirza Aqasi, and is said to have become completely devoted to Sufi teachings by the age of twenty. Aqasi contrived to become Muhammad Shah’s grand vizier shortly after the latter acceded to the throne, a position he held until the end of his reign. During the reign of Muhammad Shah, highly elaborate Muharram ceremonies became popular. These took place in specially-constructed buildings called Husaynias or takias, where lavish dramatic portrayals of the martyrdom of Husayn b. ‘Ali were performed to large audiences. An event such as this would have been a fitting context in which special presentation coins such as this might have been distributed.
Estimate: GBP 10000 - 15000