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Paramars Of Malwa..omkara

 
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 Posted 04/28/2018  5:25 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This one arrived yesterday.A slightly rarer coin...
Silver drachm of the Paramaras of Malwa, c. 1150 - 1300 CE (12MM / 4.32 gr)
Mint- Omkara Mandhata Monastery, Malwa; ?
Obverse: Degenerated Indo-Sasanian style bust, Brahmi letter "ja" in left field?
Reverse: Crude fire altar with legend Sri Omkara on shaft.
MNI 436-440

At these times the monasteries were the centres of the culture and played a major role in the economy of India by employing people from the surrounding countryside for various purposes. The coins coined at the monastery were supposedly used to pay these employees. Omkara is a large monastery located on the northern bank of the river Narbada near Mandhata in Indore.
Paul
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 Posted 04/28/2018  9:09 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice Paul.
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 Posted 04/29/2018  9:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice and one of the easier types to collect because they can be broken into clear, non-arbitrary categories (well, mostly).

There are three reverse types:

- Ornate "OM" only
- Simple "OM" only
- "SRI OM/ KA RA"

Ornate OM looks like the modern symbol that hippies and new agers like to sport on jewelry and bumper stickers. Simplified OM looks like a 3, sometimes with a line coming out: 3'

Ornate OM is rare; simple OM is scarce, Sri Omkara is common.

There are also "eye" symbols between the head and the "nose":

Ornate OM:
- Triangle topped by dot and crescent (chandrabindu)

Simple OM:
- Crescent

Sri Omkara:
- Triangle topped by dot and crescent (chandrabindu)
- Circle
- Flower
- "Staff"
- Cross
- Star
- Chandrabindu only (extremely rare)

I had a picture of my collection of them somewhere, but I can't locate it and have better examples now anyway.

A few interesting notes/observations:

- The mintage timeframe is somewhat guesswork, but I have seen estimates as late as 1350, several decades into the Muslim takeover of most of northern India. If that's true, these are the very last drachms minted to the Attic standard produced anywhere in the world.

- I haven't seen an attempt to explain the odd nose shape, but it appears that these were possibly inspired by, but not directly derived from, the "unusual nose" drachm. Based on design similarities to other contemporary Indian coins, it seems likely that the "unusual nose" may be a representation of a sacred conch - easily transformed into a horn and said to approximate the true sound of OM when blown. The unusual nose gadhaiya would therefore represent the extremely rare left-spiraling Sankh; this could perhaps be the more mundane version?

- In addition to Ja behind the bust, some coins less commonly have Ma; usually these are the simplified OM reverses, and they tend to have much lower silver purity - possibly a second denomination!

- Silver purity according to Maheshwari ranged from 27% to 0.0% most sri omkara types were in the 15-20% range.
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 Posted 04/30/2018  12:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Found the old lineup!

The symbols:
Top row
- Circle
- Triangle with chandrabindu
- Flower

Bottom row
- Cross
- Staff
- An interesting one, seemingly a flower over struck on a circle?

I found an example of a star about 3 months later; I have never seen the chandrabindu only type outside of Maheshwari's book.




Another observation... during one of my research binges, I decided to do some digging into the precise etymology of Gadhaiya Paisa. One explanation is that the phrase is a corruption of the name of a branch of Sassanian royalty that fled Muslim persecution to India, but I couldn't find a shred of evidence to support that. Gadhaiya Paisa translates rather roughly into Donkey Penny (more specifically, a synonym that won't make it through the language filters!) Perhaps someone found a hoard of these coins, and supposed the head looked a bit like a donkey?
My Collections:
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 Posted 05/01/2018  04:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks! Great write up as always and has really helped clarify the series...

Will keep my eyes open for the other symbols and reverse variants..

Lovely set Steve!..
Do you think the symbol change in front of the bust was a ruler/date system?

Thanks again and much appreciated..Paul
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 Posted 05/01/2018  10:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Paul.

I have honestly no clue what the significance of the symbols could be, and I have never even seen anyone try to make sense of it. Maheshwari published a table of silver purity that he measured from a bunch of coins, and attempted to make a chronological arrangement based on that, but from a stylistic standpoint, the triangle and chandrabindu must be the first in the series - it is the only one that typically shows the entire reverse legend on-flan, and is also the only one where the first beard dot beneath the "nose" is a star... a feature otherwise diagnostic of the type with the fire altar.

We had a discussion on the type on another forum, and the theory was put forth that the triangle and chandrabindu might in fact be an attempt at a crude Sankh shell... I could see that, and it could make sense if the engravers forgot that the "nose" is probably also a Sankh shell.

The flower, if anything, is probably a reference to Lakshmi. Compare against that other drachm you have from the Sri Ha track... they are pretty similar, yet are removed by hudreds of miles and roughly 600 years!
My Collections:
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http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
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 Posted 02/03/2019  11:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add chuckylucky4 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I received this one Friday, and I think it might be a Paramara coin, but the symbol to the left of the bust (looks like a Gujarati 4) puzzles me. Can anyone help me identify the coin and timeframe it was minted? (Ruler would be nice.)
Coin appears to be silver, 12-13mm, weight is 4.1g, and 4mm thick.
Thanks for any help.


Chuck

Edited by chuckylucky4
02/03/2019 11:50 am
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 Posted 02/03/2019  12:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
First chuckylucky4 to the forum...

I'm not experienced enough in this series to give you a breakdown. But the only thing I will say is the symbol behind the portrait is the Nagari script 'MA'....Nice looking coin!

Our expert Finn235 should be along soon and he'll be able to answer your questions..Regards Paul
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 Posted 02/03/2019  3:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


Nice less common type there! The "earlier" coins in this series retain the Gadhaiya-style fire altar, whereas "later" iterations replace the star in the center with either the letter Om, or Sri Omkara. There is a symbol behind the head, either Ja or Ma, and there are about a dozen or so different eye types (Dr. K K Maheshwari owns one of the largest collections of these coins, and notes 13 eye types in his book, for a grand total of 24 different basic varieties before getting into calligraphy variants, but I own at least a handful of unpublished types.) These coins are an enigma; nobody has been able to put forth a tenable theory as to why so many varieties exist, nor any possible meaning behind the symbolism.

The Fire Altar / Sideways crescent / MA variety is one I haven't managed to buy yet, but is Maheshwari 5/4, of which he has 14 examples out of his 143. Assessing rarity is tricky for these, since from my experience hoards often have only a handful of varieties, some of which may not have been previously recorded. Fortunately for me, collector interest in these coins is quite low, and they are very cheap.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 05/13/2021  5:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A nice group of coins came up recently of which I managed to snag one, I'm pretty sure who picked up the rest!? It's a variation type of the OP but I'm 'unsure' of the symbol between the eye and nose?...Cross or 4 pointed star?.....The OP has a circle but this one? Any help appreciated...Thanks Paul.
........
Edited by Palouche
05/13/2021 5:30 pm
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 Posted 05/16/2021  6:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry but a bump here!....Really would like to know thoughts on this symbol.....
Thanks Paul.
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 Posted 05/16/2021  11:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice addition Paul!

The eye on yours is the three-petaled flower - like this one but the petals don't touch on yours

My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 05/17/2021  5:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Steve much appreciated!...Now I can see it and a pleasant surprise too!
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