Royal Coin Cabinet
Hegira 516 / AD 1123
Diameter 2.5 cm, weight 4 g
Seville (Ishbiliya), Spain.
The object is an Islamic gold dinar of the Almoravid Amir Ali bin Yusuf (r. AH 500–37 / AD 1106–43). The inscription within the obverse central field consists of several Qur'anic quotations and the name of the ruler: 'There is no deity but God alone (XLVII, 19). He has no peer (VI, 163). Muhammad is God's apostle (XLVIII, 29). Commander of the Muslims, Ali bin Yusuf.' The obverse circular legend is also a quotation from the Qur’an: 'He who chooses a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will surely be among the losers (III, 85).'
The reverse circular legend contains the place and date: 'In the name of God! This gold coin was struck in Ishbiliya in the year five hundred and sixteen.' The inscription of the reverse central field refers to the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, calling him Imam ‘Abdallah, who was al-Mustarshid (r. AH 512–29/ AD 1118–35) at that time.
The coin is dated on the reverse.
This coin was part of a treasure found in Gotland, in the parish of Visby, Sweden, and allotted to the museum in 1844.
The inscription on the reverse names the place Ishbiliya (Seville).
Brisholm, K., “An Archival Study on Medieval Islamic Coinage”, Nordisk Numismatisk Unions Medlemsblad 9, 1986, 209–17.
Hazard, H. W., The Numismatic History of Late Medieval North Africa, Numismatic Studies 8, American Numismatic Society, New York, 1952.
Tornberg, C. J., Numi Cufici, Uppsala, 1848.
Friederike Voigt (all information provided by the Royal Coin Cabinet). "Coin" in Discover Islamic Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;ISL;se;Mus01_A;45;en&id=coins_and_medals
Prepared by: Friederike Voigt (all information provided by the Royal Coin Cabinet).Friederike Voigt (all information provided by the Royal Coin Cabinet).
Friederike Voigt has an MA in Iranian studies, history of art and social science and is currently working on her doctoral thesis on wall tiles in architectural decoration of Qajar Iran. Since 2004 she has been a project-related curator at the Museum for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm for Museum With No Frontiers. She studied at Humboldt University in Berlin, at the University of Tehran and archaeology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. She taught Persian language at several universities in Germany. She was an assistant curator at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Cultures at the Museum of Ethnology, State Museums of Berlin. Her main fields of interest are the material culture of Iran, especially of the Qajar period, and contemporary Iranian art.
Copyedited by: Monica Allen
MWNF Working Number: SE 49