Morton & Eden To Sell Coins From The Dawn Of Islam On April 22 specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden will sell three Islamic coins, struck only a few decades after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. They are estimated together at around £350,000
the date in which the coin was struck: 77h (=696/7AD). The historical importance of this coin has been appreciated for many years, and it has featured on stamps, banknotes and even credit cards issued in the Middle East.
"The introduction of a unified Islamic gold coinage under 'Abd al-Malik has rightly been seen as a landmark in the early history of Islam," Steve Lloyd said. "This dinar marks the point at which the Islamic world began to use a truly distinctive Islamic coinage, rather than copying or adapting what had gone before.
"It is an incredibly powerful statement of how the rulers of the Islamic world were now governing an empire rather than just conquering it. The Muslims took over all sorts of local laws and other arrangements during their conquests, including different coinage and currency systems, and understood that leaving these in place helped keep things peaceful and prosperous. But as the Islamic empire took shape, these were no longer appropriate - an Islamic empire needed Islamic government with the Holy Qur'an at its heart.
"Coins were an important part of this process - they were vital for paying troops and collecting taxes. So in the year 77, the first of these new gold dinars were struck bearing religious legends in Arabic, which had recently been made the official language of the empire. They weren't just economic tools, although that was certainly important - they were also missionaries for Islam."
Morton & Eden's sale of Important Coins of the Islamic World comprises 134 lots carefully chosen for their rarity, historical importance and aesthetic qualities. Together they cover much of the history of Islam from antiquity to the early 20th century. The auction includes coins of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Spanish Umayyad, Fatimid, Mamluk and Ottoman dynasties, including unique and unpublished pieces, as well as other rarities from other dynasties.
Among them is a run of 55 post-Reform Umayyad dinars comprising an example of each year from 78h to 132h inclusive. Assembling a complete set of Umayyad dinars from 77h until the fall of the dynasty in 132h has long been viewed as one of the great challenges in collecting and studying Islamic coins. The present coins have each been chosen for their excellent condition, notably the very rare 107h and 127h examples, and would make up a fine quality set in conjunction with the year 77 dinar also being sold in this auction. These 55 dinars from 78h to 132h are estimated at £80,000-100,000.
Viewing for the sale is at Morton & Eden's London offices at 45 Maddox Street, London W1S 2PE on Wednesday April 17, Thursday April 18 and Friday April 19 from 10am-4.30pm or by appointment. Morton & Eden holds auctions in association with Sotheby's and the sale will take place there on April 22, starting at 2 p.m.
For further information, please contact Steve Lloyd or Tom Eden, telephone 020 7493 5344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.