TIMURID, Husein Bayqara, 1469-1506 AD, copper fals, Samarqand mint


TIMURID, Husein Bayqara, 1469-1506 AD, fals, 864 AH (1460 AD), Samarqand mint, Obverse: ‘ADL SULTAN…, Reverse: ZARB SENNAH 864 FI SAMARQAND, copper, 18-20mm, 2.7g, A3280, G

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Husein Bayqara was a great-great grandson of Tamerlane. He spent his youth in service to his cousin, from whom he learned how not to govern. He went on to several years of adventuring, during which he put together the army that, when an opportunity presented, he used to conquer Khorasan (eastern Iran and western Afghanistan). In power he ruled generally beneficiently and well, and patronized culture.

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.