TIMURID Abu Sa’id tanka 861 AH (1457 AD) Astarabad mint


TIMURID, Abu Sa’id, 1451-1469 AD, tanka, 861 AH (1457 AD), Astarabad mint, silver, 21-24mm, A2413.1, MI-1945, countermarked: Bih Bud, spot of horn silver F

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Abu Sa’id was a member of a minor branch of the Timurid family which gave him the soubriquet Mirza (royal) and married into the main line while gave him the title Gurkan (son-in-law). After various ventures be became stable in Samarkand.

Timur was a distant relative of Chingis Khan serving as chief minister to the Chagatay Khan one of the rulers of the dissolving Mongol empire. He consolidated his position in Uzbekistan then expanded southeast into Afghanistan and Pakistan then west into Iran Iraq and Syria. He seems to have had relatively modern ideas about bureaucracy and what we might today call transnational governance and to have thought of his subjects as perhaps more than just raw material. Most of what he did though was war. He and several of his successors were notable patrons of the arts.

The term “Islamic coins” refers to coins made by Muslim governments from the time of the first caliphs to an end point in time that varies with the particular country being considered but is generally some time from the 17th to 19th century. There is a geographic exclusion: India and points east are generally considered separately. The main reference used here is “Checklist of Islamic Coins” by Stephen Album.