Numismatics

With more than 12,000 coins in the collection, The al-Sabah Collections numismatic holdings are extensive. Coins in the collection were minted in virtually every corner of the geography of the Islamic world. Equally notable, they were minted over a period of some 6,000 years – from the Bronze Age through the 19th century CE.

All minted coins are invaluable records, rich with historical, social, artistic and, of course, economic information. One could argue the true value of a coin is often found in the stories it tells. Using the coins from the Islamic collection, one can trace the influence of pre-Islamic cultures, the history of dynasties, the geographic spread of the religion, and the evolution of artistic styles. The largess of the different rulers is also evident, in the motifs, symbolism and scale of the coins.

With more than 12,000 coins in the collection, The al-Sabah Collections numismatic holdings are extensive. Coins in the collection were minted in virtually every corner of the geography of the Islamic world. Equally notable, they were minted over a period of some 6,000 years – from the Bronze Age through the 19th century CE.

All minted coins are invaluable records, rich with historical, social, artistic and, of course, economic information. One could argue the true value of a coin is often found in the stories it tells. Using the coins from the Islamic collection, one can trace the influence of pre-Islamic cultures, the history of dynasties, the geographic spread of the religion, and the evolution of artistic styles. The largess of the different rulers is also evident, in the motifs, symbolism and scale of the coins.

LNS 8704 N

Undated copper/copper alloy coin (fals) of so-called ‘Standing Caliph’ type, in the name of the Umayyad Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (r. AH 65–86/
AD 685–705), struck at Homs (Hims), Syria, (undated)

Syria, Homs, AD 693–97
Struck between two dies: diameter 2.22 cm; weight 3.79 g. 

Inv. LNS 8704 N
Art market, 1997; reportedly from Damascus
Unpublished

LNS 21 N

Gold coin (dinar) of the ‘Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid ibn al-Mahdi (r. AH 170–93/AD 786–809), struck in northern Iraq, dated AH 170

Iraq, AD 786–87
Struck between two dies: diameter 1.9 cm; weight 4.19 g

Inv. LNS 21 N
Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished

LNS 513 N

Gold coin (dinar) of the Fatimid Caliph al-Mu‘izz li-Din ‘llah
ibn al-Mansur (r. AH 341–65/ AD 953–75), struck in Palestine (Filastin), dated AH 359 Palestine, AD 969–70

Struck between two dies: diameter 2.05 cm; weight 3.89 g 

Inv. LNS 513 N
Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished

LNS 229 N

Silver coin (dirham) of the Muwahhid (Almohad) rulers of North Africa and Spain, struck at Fez (Fas), Morocco, undated (AH 6th c.)

Morocco, Fez, AD 12th c. Struck between two dies: each side 1.35 cm; weight 1.55 g

Inv. LNS 229 N
Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished

LNS 6614 N

Gold coin (dinar) of the Saljuq Sultan Malikshah ibn Muhammad (r. AD 1072–92), struck at Amul (Mazandaran), Iran, dated AH 479

Iran, Amul, AD 1086–87 Struck between two dies: diameter 2.3 cm; weight 3.63 g

Inv. LNS 6614 N
Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished

To see more Numismatic objects

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LNS 6388 N
Silver coin (dirham) of the Rum Saljuq Sultan Kaykhusraw II ibn Kayqubad (r. AD 1237–46), struck at Konya (Qunya), Turkey, dated AH 639 Turkey, Konya, AD 1241–42 Struck between two dies: diameter 2.1 cm; weight 2.674 g Inv. LNS 6388 N Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished
LNS 89 N
Gold coin (double dinar) of the Mamluk Sultan Baybars I (r. AD 1260–77), struck at Cairo (al-Qahira), Egypt, dated AH 661 Egypt, Cairo, AD 1262–63 Struck between two dies: diameter 2.35 cm; weight 7.15 g Inv. LNS 89 N Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished
LNS 1316 N
Gold coin (double dinar) of the Ilkhanid (Mongol) ruler Uljaytu ibn Arghun (r. AD 1304–16), struck at Baghdad, Iraq, dated AH 715 Iraq, Baghdad, AD 1315–16 Struck between two dies: diameter 2.8 cm; weight 8.75 g Inv. LNS 1316 N Art market, 1983 Unpublished
LNS 241 N
Silver coin (tanqa) of the Timurid Sultan Shah Rukh ibn Timur (r. AD 1405–47), struck at Astarabad, Iran, dated AH 830 Iran, Astarabad, AD 1426–27 Struck between two dies: diameter 2.4 cm; weight 5.13 g Inv. LNS 241 N Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished
LNS 6797 N
Gold coin (ashrafi) of the Safavid Sultan Shah Isma‘il ibn Haydar (r. AD 1501–24), struck at Tabriz, Iran, dated AH 916 Iran, Tabriz, AD 1510–11 Struck between two dies: diameter 1.75 cm; weight 3.52 g Inv. LNS 6797 N Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished
LNS 244 N
Gold coin (portrait muhur) of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir ibn Akbar (r. AD 1605–27), no mint mentioned (Agra?), dated AH 1020 and regnal year 6, with a lion conjuncted with the sun (the sun in Leo), standing for the Persian month of Amurdad North India, AD 1611 Struck between two dies: diameter 2.0 cm; weight 11.05 g Inv. LNS 244 N Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished
LNS 278 N
Gold coin (tanqa) of the Ottoman Emperor Mustafa III ibn Ahmad III (r. AD 1757–74), struck at Istanbul (Islambul), Turkey, dated AH 1171 Turkey, Istanbul, AD 1757–58 Struck between two dies: diameter 2.1 cm; weight 2.62 g Inv. LNS 278 N Art market, 1970s–80s Published: Qaddumi 1987, p. 174, cat. 43
LNS 150 N
Gold coin (dinar) of the Umayyad Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (r. AH 65–86/AD 685–705), struck at Damascus (Dimashq), Syria, dated AH 80 Inv. LNS 150 N Struck between two dies: diameter 1.9 cm; weight 4.19 g Syria, Damascus, AD 699–700 Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished
LNS 12376 N
Gold one-hundred muhur presentation coin in the name of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r. AH 1037–69/AD 1627–58), struck at Lahore, dated AH 1048, 12th regnal year Lahore, dated to AD 1638–39 Struck between two dies: diameter 9.8 cm; thickness 0.94 cm; weight 1.09 kg Inv. LNS 12376 N Art market, 2005 Published: Habsburg Feldman, Geneva, 8 November 1987, lot 2 Such coins were presented to officials and notables as an expression of appreciation and demonstration of the grandeur and generosity of the ruler. We know this from literature, but extant examples are practically unknown. This one is inscribed in Arabic and Persian in nasta‘liq script: on the obverse, “There is no god but God the One, [and] Muhammad is His prophet, struck in 1048, at the abode of the Sultanate, Lahore”; and on the reverse, “Shihab al-din Muhammad, Second Lord of the Auspicious Planetary Conjunction, Shah Jahan Padshah Ghazi, twelfth regnal year”.
LNS 2179 N
Gold coin (dinar) of the Samanid ruler Nasr II ibn Ahmad II (r. AH 301–31/AD 914–43), struck at Nishapur (Naysabur), Iran, dated AH 324 Iran, Nishapur, AD 935–36 Struck between two dies: diameter 2.3 cm; weight 4.39 g Inv. LNS 2179 N Art market, 1970s–80s Unpublished
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