India has a rich history of coinage stretching back nearly 2,500 years, with scores of different rulers, subdivisions, and epochs that highlight the mosaic-like history of the subcontinent. One of the more intriguing eras in Indian numismatic history is the Sultanate period. Spanning more than 300 years, this period encompasses the formation of the first major Islamic Empire in India – the Delhi Sultanate – in 1206 and lasted until the Babur conquest in 1526. During this time, the preeminent power was the Delhi Sultanate, which peaked under the rule of Muhammad bin Tughlaq. One of the earliest signs of fracture of the Delhi Sultanate was a revolt by disillusioned troops who had not been receiving sufficient compensation. Jalaluddin Ahsan Khan led a revolt in Southern India in 1335, declaring independence from the Delhi Sultanate. This effort was aided when the army marching south to crush the rebellion suffered an outbreak of disease, sapping its strength and forcing it to turn back. As such, Khan’s revolt succeeded, and his breakaway state, the Madura Sultanate, remained in place. Its reign spanned eight different rulers, and lasted for 43 years, until it fell to the Vijayanagar Empire in 1378.
This state produced a very scant numismatic legacy, with coinage from the Sultanate being scarce and with several types being extremely rare. Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ January NYINC Auction offers the chance at such a rarity in lot 54103, a full Tanka from the reign of Jalaluddin Ahsan Khan, dated AH 736, just the second year of the Madura Sultanate. The type was unknown in full Tanka weight until recently; Gordon and Goenka in their seminal book, The Coins of the Indian Sultanates, do not record this type or any full Tanka issue for the reign of Jalaluddin Ahsan Kahn. In addition to the rarity of the piece, it offers a tremendous state of preservation, graded by NGC as MS-63. The strike is impressive, with the script fully rendered on a full planchet. As the first offering of this type we have had the pleasure of handling, we expect a plethora of excited bidders, seeking to own this tremendous piece.
To view our upcoming auction schedule and future offerings, please visit StacksBowers.com where you may register and participate in this and other forthcoming sales.
We are always seeking coins, medals, and paper money for our future auctions, and are currently accepting consignments for our spring 2024 Hong Kong auction and our August 2024 Global Showcase auction. Additionally, we are continuously accepting consignments for our Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auctions, the next of which will be in February 2024, and the next for which we are accepting consignments will be in May. If you would like to learn more about consigning, whether a singular item or an entire collection, please contact one of our consignment directors today and we will assist you in achieving the best possible return on your material.