A unique Mohur of Tamerlaine struck during the invasion of Delhi, AH 800.
The Timurids of Transoxiana and Persia. Qutb al-din Timur Gurkhan b. Turaghay, AH 771-807 (1370-1405 CE) in the name of his nominal overlord the Chaghatayid ruler Mahmud Khan AH 792-803 (1390-1401 CE). AV Mohur undated (AH 800), no mint name. The Sunni kalima, ilah illa Allah/Muhammad rasul/Allah / Sultan/Qutb al-din/Gurkan/Timur Allah khallada mulkahu (may God perpertuate his rule). 10,94g. Album -.
From a private collection in UK (since 1980). Oliver Hoare Ltd, private treaty.
Grading/Status: Extremely fine and of the most significant historical importance.
Qutb al-Din Timur Gurkan, known in the west as Tamerlaine, came from the Barlas clan of Mongols, but he did not claim direct descent from Chingiz Khan, whom he resembled in many ways. His children, however, were able to make this claim through Timur’s marriage to Saray Malik Khatun, the daughter of the Chagatayid ruler Kazan Timur, at which time Timur was allowed to assume the title Gurkan, meaning “royal son-in-law” in Mongolian. Timur was a brilliant soldier who spoke both Turkish and Persian but he was never taught to read or write, as this would not have been considered befitting for a warrior such as him. Timur only used the titles amir and gurkan on his coinage as he did not have the right to that of khan, since his nominal overlord was the Chagatayid ruler, first Suyurghatmish, AH 771-790 (1370-1388 CE), and later Mahmud, AH 790-800 (1388-1398 CE), but with coins struck posthumously in his name until AH 806. Timur established his capital in Samarkand, which he embellished and fortified. In AH 800 (1398 CE) he left Samarkand and led his forces into India to take advantage of the chaos into which the Tughluqid Sultanate of Delhi had fallen under Mahmud Shah bin Muhammad, AH 795-815 (1393-1413 CE). Once again, he perpetuated his fearsome reputation by massacring around 100,000 of the inhabitants of the capital of the Sultanate, Dehli, in the month of Rabi II (December 1398), and then sacking and burning the city. Satisfied with the carnage he had wrought, Timur returned to Samarkand later that year with the enormous amount of treasure that he always seized from those he had vanquished, and in early AH 802 he set out on his seven-year campaign to the west where he maintained his fearful reputation for spectacular ferocity. Nearly all of Timur's abundant coinage was struck in silver, and such gold as he issued is extremely rare. This gold Mohur is unique. It appears from its design, fabric and legends to have been struck on the occasion of Timur Gurkhan's brief and disastrous occupation of Dehli in AH 800 (1398 CE). While the coin does not bear a mint name, its fabric and legends clearly show it to be of Indian origin. The Sunni kalima is inscribed on the obverse of the coin and the reverse bears the names of Timur himself and his nominal Chaghatayid overlord, Mahmud Khan.