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The Gadhaiya Coins.
The Gadhaiya coins of Gujarat are in all probability imitations of these Hūņa coins which themselves were imitations of the Sassanian coins struck in the reign of Firuz or later.*
seem, however, that Sassanian coins of a considerably later
(b) Subsquent to the Hūņa conquest of the Gupta Kingdom of East
The first Hūņa imitations-simply rude copies of the original Sassanian thin silver pieces-were probably made by the orders of Toramāņa. Their presence in large numbers in Marwar justifies the influence that the Lower Indus ranges and Western Rājpūtāna came under the sway of the Hūņas.
Later imitations show "as they recede from the prototype a more degraded representation of the original types and an increasing thickness of fabric." Mewar, Marwar, and all Rājpūtānā are the districts in which coins of this intermediate type are still found in large numbers.
The Gadhaiya coins exhibit this degradation in stages even more and more advanced, till to the eye of the uninitiated they seem to
*That the Gadhaiyā coins are ultimately derived from coins of the Indo-Sassanian type has long been known to numismatists. Cunningham in the Eleventh Volume (pages 175-176) of his Archæological Survey Reports writes : "The silver coins found near the ruins of Vajrāsan Vihāra of Viradeva are all of the class known as Indo-Sassanian. Similar coins are found in Mālwā and Gujarat, but they are never inscribed. The earliest coins of the class are of large size, and their imita
tion of the Sassanian money is direct and obvious. But the latter coins depart "l more and more from the original, so that it is not easy at first sight to trace "their descent. Several specimens selected by me from the Stacy collection were "published by James Prinsep in 1837 to illustrate this descent, with a graceful "acknowledgment that the fact had been previously pointed out by me in January, "1836 (Bengal As. Soc. Journal, VI. 295, Plate XIX, Figs. 7-14). 'It is,' he says,
'to Captain Cunningham that we are indebted for the knowledge of balusters, "parallelograms, and dots being all resolvable into the same fire-altar and its at "tendants.' In 1876, or just one generation later, the same fact was proved over
again by Mr. Codrington, Secretary of the Bombay Asiatic Society. He select-. "ed,' says Pandit Bhagwanlal Indraji, 'a series of coins to show the gradual "change of the Persian head on the obverse, and the fire-altar on the reverse, of "the Sassanian coins into the oblong button and the series of dots and lines "found on the Gadhaiya coins.' (Bombay As. Soc. Journal, Vol. XII, 325).”
present merely an oblong button or mace on the obverse, and on the reverse a medley of dots and lines. While, however, the Sassanian prototype of the reign of Firuz and the intermediate imitations are little more than thin laminae of silver, these Gadhaiya coins are distinctly thick for their diameter, so thick as to be almost dumpy.
Copper Gadhaiya coins are not very uncommon, but all the specimens I have seen are of a particularly degraded type. They apparently issued from the mints long after remembrance of the original design had been entirely lost. The name Gadhaiya Paisā still in vogue in Gujarāt applies to both the silver and the copper varieties of this type of coin.
Description of Coins.
A. Sassanian Coins of Firūz: A: Diameter 12 in.: very thin; weight 59 grains.
Obverse: within circle :
King's face in profile to right: pronounced nose: short beard: ear-ring with triple pendant: rose behind lobe of ear: tight-fitting necklace; sash over each shoulder: high crown with star on either side.
Legend: Kadi Piruzi (King Firuz)
Or Mazdisn Kadi Piruzi (the Ahura-mazda-worshipping
Outside circle :
Above crown a crescent with star in its bosom (on some of the coins of Firuz the King's crown has two wings, one in front and the other behind).
Reverse within circle :
Fire altar, narrow at middle, and surmounted by four rows of flame: a wing on each side of altar, near its centre: standing on each side an attendant with sword reaching to ground: to left of flame a star, and to right a cres
B. Hūņa imitations of A. R: diameter reduced but thickness increased: average weight of five coins 57 grains.
Obverse: Original design crudely copied with much blurring and loss of detail: face recognisable but nose long and very attenuated: in front of lips a snake like wavy line: legend represented by mere strokes.
Reverse: Fairly clear outline of fire-altar, flame being represented by a pyramid of dots: attendants shrunk to curved lines.
C. Gadhaiya Paisa imitations of B: R: diameter much reduced but thickness pronounced: average weight of twenty-one coins 62 grains. Obverse: Face less and less discernible, resembling at last a mallet or globe-headed stud: ear much elongated and separated from head: wavy line still present.
Reverse: Arrangement of lines, parallelograms, and dots distantly suggestive of a fire-altar.
With the exception of the crescent above the crown, the latest Gadhaiya coins in silver and all in copper have scarcely a trace remaining of the Sassanian prototype. They exhibit on one side a thick unwieldy mace in a field of dots and on the other mere rows of dots and lines.
The accompanying two Plates have been prepared from exquisite photographs taken from plaster casts of the coins by my kind friend Mr. H. Cousens, M.R.A.S., Superintendent of the Archæological Survey of Western India. On one Plate the obverse, and on the other the reverse, impressions have been so arranged as to exhibit their further and further departure from the original type.
Periods of Currency.
A. The Sassanian monarch Firuz reigned from A.D. 457-484, and the Hūņa imitations followed the type of the coins of the latter part of this reign, say from A.D. 470-484.
B. The first Hūņā imitations were current in Western Rājpūtānā during the reign of Toramāņa in the first quarter of the sixth century. Subsequently throughout Mewar, Marwar, and all Rājpūtānā the later Hūņā imitations had a large circulation. They were also probably current in Gujarat and even perhaps in Kāṭhīāwāḍ side by side with the Valabhi coinage. This latter ceased to issue after the fall of Valabhi about the year A.D. 766, and thereafter the Hūņā imitations served as the currency for those provinces.
C. The Gadhaiyā coins, increasingly degenerate imitations of the Hūņa imitations, were probably issued during the Chavaḍa (A.D. 746942), the Chalukya (A.D. 942-1243), and Vaghelā (A.D. 1244–1297) dynasties of Gujarat, and continued to be the accepted coin of the realm till ‘Alā-ul-din's conquest of the province at the close of the 13th century. Thus the period of currency for these Gadhaiyā coins covers more than five hundred years-a long period, but not too long if regard be had to the extreme degeneration, both in design and workmanship, exhibited by these coins.
The name Gadhaiyā or, as sometimes pronounced, Gadhiyā, is said
to be derived from the Sanskrit Gardabhiya, meaning "asinine," "of the Ass dynasty." How so strange a designation came to be attached to the coin is not very evident, but I venture to suggest the following as a possible explanation. For some twenty years after the settlement of the Hūņas on the banks of the Oxus, the reigning Sassanian king was Varahran V (A.D. 419-438), who from his devotion to the chase, and especially to the chase of the wild-ass, gained the nick-name of Varahran Gur, or Bahram the Ass[-hunter]. Now when the coins of this king began to circulate amongst his enemies, the Hūņas, these by a very evident jeu d'esprit may have dubbed the thin insignificant-looking silver pieces "Ass-money," a name that would readily "stick." Later on when imitations of coins of the same Sassanian type were struck by the Hūņas themselves in India, the name would fall to be translated by some Prākṛit form of the Sanskrit equivalent, Gardabhiya: and this designation, by a process of phonetic degeneration proceeding pari passu with the more and more degraded workmanship of the coins themselves, finally dwindled down to. Gadhaiya, the term in use to-day by the common people.
[Gardabhiya Gaddahiya Gadahiya
=Gadhaiya = Gadhaiya-ka.
20. Firoz Shah III.
GEO. P. TAYLOR.
This coin has the same legends as coin No. 187 described by Thomas (vide Chronicles, Plate VI. Fig. 6), but instead of one of the legends being within a circle, both legends are arranged in square areas, This coin is unique so far as is known.
G. B. BLEAZBY.
Weight. 93 grains. Mint and date absent.
This is the only coin of Firoz in silver so far as our information
J. I. 48
goes. The legends are similar to those on coin No. 226 of the Chronicles, but that is a gold coin. The margin is too fragmentary to be read with any confidence. The coin looks perfectly genuine, but its weight is extraordinary. Could it possibly have been struck from the gold die by mistake, or was it intended for a "half-rupee " ?
G. B. BLEAZBY.
21. Sher Sháh.
Mint. Agra probably.
Date. 948 A. H.
A square rupee, believed to be unique.
G. B. BLEAZBY.
IV. MUGHAL EMPERORS.
22. An important collection of Mughal coins changed hands during the early part of the year, when the Government of the United Pro.vinces, aided by a grant from the Director General of Archæology, acquired for the cabinet of the Lucknow Museum the coins of Mr. R. W. Ellis, recently of Lahore and now of Jubbulpore. This acquisition brings the Lucknow Museum cabinet into the very front rank as regards the Mughal period, and it is to be hoped that the authorities will take an early opportunity of issuing a descriptive and fully illustrated catalogue of their fine collection. An abstract of the rarer coins in the Ellis cabinet (which included 84 gold, 1,670 silver and 533 copper coins) has been compiled by Mr. Burn for the annual report of the Lucknow Museum for the year ending 31st March 1904, and is given
Babar.-Seven silver coins.
Humayun.-Three silver coins.
Akbar. A-Two coins weighing 7.7 and 5.5 grains, respectively. One
R.-The early rupees are very fine. In the Ilahi series are two
Jahangir.-R. Elichpur, Ahmadābād (the rare couplet of 1027