Rare Spanish Muslim coins in Morton & Eden auction
- Published: Mar 25, 2014, 3 PM
An important group of some of the rarest and most historic gold coins from Muslim Spain will be sold by specialist auctioneer Morton & Eden in its April 10 auction, “Important Coins of the Islamic World,” to be held at Sotheby’s in London.
The auction includes two excessively rare examples from the early years of Muslim Spain.
An Umayyad dinar with the mint name al-Andalus (the Arabic name for Spain, related to Andalucia) and dated A.H. 106 (A.D. 724) is one of only two coins known, with the other housed in a Spanish institution. Though “weakly struck and [with] some scuffs on the obverse,” the coin in the auction is in Very Fine condition and estimated at £20,000 to £30,000 (about $33,067 to $49,600 U.S.).
An unpublished silver dirham of al-Andalus dated A.H. 128 (A.D. 745) is previously unknown for the mint, and believed to be unique. Clipped and with some graffiti in the reverse field, the Good Fine coin is estimated at £10,000 to £15,000 (about $16,533 to $24,800 U.S.).
The Umayyads and their descendants ruled Spain for almost three centuries.
An extremely rare dinar dated A.H. 415 (1024) is an example of one of the very last gold coins struck before the fall of the Umayyad dynasty seven years later, believed to be only the second recorded example of this date.
In Good Fine condition, it is estimated at £4,000 to £6,000 (about $6,613 to $9,920 U.S.).
After the Umayyads, control of Muslim Spain was split between a number of petty kingdoms and rulers, of whom the Almoravids were among the most important.
Their coins are celebrated for the calligraphy, as shown by an example in the auction, a gold dinar struck at Seville (Arabic Ishbiliya) in the year A.H. 539 (1144).
In Extremely Fine, the coin is estimated at £2,500 to £3,000 (about $4,133 to $4,960 U.S.).
A total of 160 lots are offered in the sale. For more information, telephone the auctioneers at (011) 44 20 7493 5344 or email the firm at email@example.com.