What Our Fantasies About the European “Middle Ages” Says About Us
What Our Fantasies About the European “Middle Ages” Says About Us
August 10, 2022
Arts of The Islamic World & India’ in Sotheby’s London October sale
Arts of The Islamic World & India’ in Sotheby’s London October sale
September 18, 2022

Met Museum [Public Domain] The Leningrad Scorpio. The Lahore Capricorn. The Agra Aquarius. No, these aren’t the titles of vintage spy novels. These references appear in a 1931 article by the British numismatist RB Whitehead titled The Portrait Medals and Zodiacal Coins of the Emperor Jahangir , an account of an unusual series of astrology-themed coins issued by the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569-1627). They constitute only the second known example of zodiac currency in world history. The first, Whitehead fleetingly acknowledges, “is an issue of Antoninus Pius from the mint of Alexandria [144/145 CE].” About the 17th century Jahangiri coins, there arise many questions. Why were they issued? And what meaning did the Mughal emperor wish to imbue them with? As rare and remarkable as they are simply as objects, these understudied coins also present an opportunity to understand how a badshah might claim to exert his influence upon […]

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