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Lotto 280 - Vente aux enchères 8

Base d'asta:
125.000,00 CHF

QARMATID GOVERNORS OF OMAN - A UNIQUE GOLD COIN STRUCK IN OMAN. Umar b. Muhammad, AH 357-358 (967-968). Dinar AH 357 (968), Uman. Inscription centrale sur cinq lignes, entourée de deux légendes circulaires comprenant le nom de l'atelier et la date, et de quatre inscriptions marginales / Inscription centrale sur cinq lignes, entourée d'une légende circulaire et de quatre inscriptions marginales. 4,43g. A -.
Petite trace sur la tranche. Très bel exemplaire.
This hitherto unknown coin provides an intriguing new piece of information concerning the history of the Sultanate of Oman. While coins exist for the years AH 355 and 358, the events of 356 and 357 have not, up to the present, been recorded. In 355 the governor was ‘Ali bin Ahmad, who acknowledged the Abbasid caliph al-Muti’ lillah and the Qarmatids of Bahrain on his coins (see Sotheby 17th April 1984, lot 83), and in 358 the names of ‘Umar bin Muhammad, the Buwayhid rulers of Iran, ‘Adud al-dawla and Rukn al-dawla, the Qarmatid Council and the Abbasid Caliph al-Muti‘ all appeared. Later that year ‘Umar bin Muhammad's name was replaced by that of Hallaj bin Hatim. From the legends on the coins it is unclear whether ‘Umar was a member of the Wajihid dynasty or a Qarmatid import to Oman like ‘Ali bin Ahmad, and there is no historical textual information either. All coins of these types are extremely rare (see Album “Checklist” 1163E and A1164). This coin shows that ‘Umar's initial loyalty was to the Qarmatids, but he then he shifted his allegiance to the Buwayhids, probably because the latter appeared to be the greater threat to his authority. The obverse of this coin inscribes the legends of the standard Abbasid dinar, while the reverse is patterned on that of an Umayyad dirham featuring the Surah “al-Ikhlas” as its principal legend, surrounded by the text of the Prophetic Witness. Somewhat surprisingly these legends omit any mention of the al-Muti‘, who was the reigning Abbasid caliph in AH 357. This very rare omission reveals the governor's lack of religious and political submission which was invariably found elsewhere in the eastern Islamic world. Following the name ‘Umar bin Muhammad the title “al-sayyida” (the Master or Lord) appears, which was used by the Qarmatid political leadership at this time. The coin is also exceptional in being struck on a particularly broad planchet which allowed the incorporation of extra outer marginal legends on both sides leaving space for eight individual auspicious words. These served as charms for the success of the ruler and those who were fortunate enough to hold the coins in their possession. Stylistically the dies were engraved in especially elegant Kufic script which would make the coin both a practical and an artistic treasure for those who owned it. This coin almost certainly owes its preservation to having been originally mounted for suspension as an item of decoration for a high-born lady or as a medallic honour for a gentleman.


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