Baldwin's to auction multi-million pound collection of Islamic coins On the 25th April 2012 A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd will sell one of the greatest selections of classical Islamic rarities by public auction. The much anticipated sale comprises 150 of the rarest and hig
252 h. The gold for this famous dinar of the Caliph al’Mu’tazz dated 252 h came from the fabric covering of the Makam Ibrahim (the holy stone) in the Holy city of Makka. The gold thread was taken from the fabric and melted down before being struck to produce this coin.
Abbasid Dinar, Al-Musta’sim Billah, Madinat al-Salam 656 h. The year 656 h marks the end of Abbasid power, and the last issue of Abbasid coinage. The Abbasid dynasty was the third of the Islamic Caliphates and indeed one of the greatest, ruling for over 500 years, from 132 h. In the first days of the month of Muharram, Madinat al-Salam was besieged by the Mongol forces of Ilkhan Hulagu, and surrendered within a few days. At this time the city reverted to its original, popular name, Baghdad. The Caliph, Musta’sim Billah was murdered and a shadow caliphate lived on under the Mamluks of Egypt. Later the office of caliph was claimed by the Ottomans after their conquest of Cairo.
Fatimid Dinar, al-‘Aziz Billah, Makka 366 h. After al-Mu’izz conquered Egypt he went on to seize the Holy City of Makka in the Hijaz. This excessively rare dinar was struck in the name of his successor al-‘Aziz during the latter’s struggle with the Qarmatids.
Ayyubid, al-Nasir Yusuf I (Saladin), Dinar, Dimashq 583 h. While Saladin struck an abundant gold coinage in al-Qahira (Cairo) and al-Iskandariya (Alexandria), this is the only dinar bearing his name from the Syrian mint. The date, 583 h., the year in which Saladin (one of the greatest leaders to fight against the Christian crusaders) won the decisive victory at the Horns of Hattin, suggests that it was a special donative issue struck to reward his victorious troops.
The extraordinary ‘Magnus Princeps’ bronze portrait medal of Sultan Mehmed II. Made shortly after Mehmed II’s conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and attributed to the medallist and sculptor Pietro a Milano, this masterful uniface portrait from the High Renaissance is remarkable in showing the Sultan as a young man at this hugely significant time. The only known example, this medal is considered the earliest surviving representation of the great Ottoman ruler.
The medal was bought as part of lot 696 in an auction held by Christies, Rome on 14th December 2000 and was one of a selection of items from a significant European collection. The historical importance of this splendid medal was not realised at the time. This unique and incredible piece of history carries an estimate of £300,000 – 400,000
Anonymous Mahdi of the Sudan, Gold ‘Guinea’, ‘Misr’ 1255 h. Regnal Year 2. It is recorded that when the Mahdi seized power in the Sudan he used an Egyptian Guinea bearing the tughra of the Ottoman Sultan ‘Abd al-Majid as a pattern for his gold coinage. It is clear that the coin is a reasonable copy, but that it would only fool those who had to accept it in Umdurman (Khartoum), the Mahdi’s capital.