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The coin contains the following inscriptions:
1 Siva Singha Shah and also the moon-faced Begam Pramatheswari Shāh.
Struck at Gargaon in 1651, being the 15th year of (the king's) auspicious reign.
The year 1651 is of the Sáka Era which corresponds to A.D. 1729. Şiva Singha was an Ahom king who reigned from Sáka 1636 to Sáka 1666 (A.D. 1714-1744) according to Kași Nath Tamuli Phukon's Buranji.
The interesting point about the coin is the Persian inscription which is unusual, coins of this period generally bearing an inscription in the Assamese character and being octagonal in shape, not square. The tiger or rather dragon occurs on all the Ahom coins It will be observed that the coin bears the name of the Queen Pramatheswari in addition to that of the Rājā, the explanation being as follows: At a period in Siva Singha's reign the Parbatia Gossain and certain Pandits predicted disaster to the reigning Prince who, in consequence, abdicated in favour of his Queen Phuleswari whose name was then changed to Pramatheswari. The Queen's name was then struck on the coins in conjunction with that of her consort the Rājā Șiva Singha (see page 132 of Gunabhiram Barua's Buranji, Calcutta edition).
P. R. T. GURDON.
The find contained no less than 143 of these coins.
H. N. W.
A local copper currency in the Dewas State, Central India.
The following note has been communicated by the Minister to His Highness the Raja of Dewās, Junior Branch, through Mr. W. E. Jardine, formerly Assistant to the Hon'ble the Agent to the GovernorGeneral in Central India. Similar notes on the other local currencies alluded to in the Minister's memorandum would be interesting, it being desirable to preserve records of such local currencies before they disappear under the spread of British Indian coinage.
H. N. W.
"Inquiry into the payment of wages to relief-labourers has forced
1 The following would appear to be a more literal translation: "The coin of Șiva Singha Shāh resembling the sun is struck by order of the Queen Pramatheswari Shāh.”—H. N. W.
upon my attention the copper coin difficulty similar to that I noticed at Ringnode. In this pargana, the copper coins current are the "Allote" pice. It is very strange that Allote, a pargana subordinate to Dewas, Senior Branch, should have a copper currency of its own. Whatever may have been the case before the adoption of the British Indian currency in the State, it is certainly inexplicable how, after that event, the Senior Branch should not only maintain the Allote copper currency, but even go on manufacturing new pice and putting them on the market. I at first thought that, although the Allote pice are still current, they must be the relics of times prior to the introduction of the British Indian coinage; but on careful inquiry I learn that they are manufactured anew from time to time, and I have actually secured a number of brand-new ones from a shroff, who vouches for their being not more than one month old. I examined the shroff's whole stock-several bagsful-and found "Allote" pice of different degrees of oldness or newness, call it what you like. The shroff tells me that at this very moment the manufacture is going on at Allote. To. corroborate his statement, I actually sent for the artizan who is employed in the Senior Branch for the manufacture and have had it verified. He gets Rs. 7 a maund when he makes pice from plates of copper, and Rs. 3 when he simply coins ready pieces. The Allote tahsil turns out pice with a particular mint mark (an image of Siva with a "Bael" tree). The difference between the metal-value and token value, I presume, comes to the State as profit. The manner in which they manufacture the 'Allote' pice is this: They either cut up new plates of copper of the required thickness into pieces and strike the impression upon them, or recently, since plates have become dearer, they use for this purpose the copper coins of some of the neighbouring States, which are similar to the Allote pice in all respects, except the impression-such as the Kotah pice, the Gangrār pice, the Sitāmau pice, the Sailāna pice and so on. They get these pice, and after effacing the first impression, produce the 'Allote' impression on them, and then the pice pass off as 'Allote' pice. They get the former at 36 annas, which when converted into Allote pice sell at 32 annas. The difference, less cost of conversion, is the Senior Branch's profit."
Note by the Superintendent of the Dewas State, Senior Branch.
1. There are no means to ascertain as to the origin or exact date from which this pice was introduced in the pargana: the oldest surviving residents declare they have seen it current for generations past.
2. Looking at the oldest pice now current, it is seen that the design on the obverse is that of Trisul (a three-pointed weapon) and drum with the word Shri on either side. As these are the emblems of the deities worshipped by the Puar Rājās, it is clear that this pice must have been introduced some time after the rule of the Puār dynasty was established.
3. Among the pice current, there are some which, in addition to the above designs, bear the mark of a tree as well; and in others there are some other modifications. These changes appear to have been introduced subsequently on additional quantities being struck to meet the requirements of the pargana.
4. It appears that interested parties (bankers) have, on different occasions, bought and withdrawn from circulation a large proportion of these copper coins, in order to force up the rate of exchange and make a profit by selling the same at a higher rate. To counteract such proceedings, the Kamasdārs concerned ordered new supplies to be struck with certain modifications in the original designs of the coin, which accounts for the different changes in the designs on the obverse and reverse of the coin.
5. In Sambat 1928, corresponding to A.D. 1870-71, some change in the design was introduced; and again in the years 1893-94 the mark of a tree was added on to the design. This coin appears to be the latest now in circulation. The weight of the old pice is 13 mashas and that of the new ones is from 10 to 11 mashas.
6. Whenever a new supply was required a contractor was engaged to do the work (with rude moulds or rather iron stamps) without any cost to the State, and so the transaction never appears in the State account.
7. In the year 1893-94 copper coins worth Rs. 5,000 were struck, and the contract was given to Onkurlal Supkaran Das, banker, who had stipulated to buy at 16 annas and sell at 16 annas for the rupee of Pratapgarh mint. This contract continued for two years only without any fluctuations in the rate of exchange.