Turkoman figural bronze coins not in Spengler and Sayles

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Spengler and Sayles wrote Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins, volumes 1 and 2, which covered the Artuqids and Zengids. Unfortunately, Spengler took ill and died so volume 3, which would have described the other figural types, was not written. Therefore, those other figural types have not had Spengler and Sayles ID numbers. With this post I am announcing a new web site, "Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins, a supplement to Spengler and Sayles."


    "The purpose of this web page is to list, illustrate, and provide ID numbers for the Turkoman figural bronze types that are not in the two standard volumes by Spengler and Sayles."

    Technically, the Ayyubids were of Kurdish stock and not Turkoman, but they are also included. Here is a coin of the famous Saladin.

    28 mm. 12.34 grams.
    Sultanate of Egypt
    al-Nasir I Salah al-Din Yusuf (Saladin)
    AH 564-589, AD 1169-1193

    Figure seated cross-legged, with chair back, holding orb, legend around
    3-line legend, legend around

    Album 791.4 "S" date "586". 791.5 is similar but lighter. Balog 182, X.

    I corresponded with Wayne Sayles who gave his approval to the new ID system with "SSS" (Spengler and Sayles Supplement) numbers. The coin above is "SSS Ayyubid 3" or "SSS Ay 3" for the third Ayyubid type.

    I freely admit I am not an expert on figural bronze coins, but I had lots of help from Steve Album who is. He is one of the most prominent experts on Islamic coins in the world: https://db.stevealbum.com/php/home.php
    Thank you, Steve!

    Why did I write that page if I am not an expert? I wrote it because there is a need for a reference for the figural types not in the two volumes by Spengler and Sayles and no one else had already isolated all those types in one place. Besides, it is fun to study a subject and try to organize it for others to use and enjoy. I expect there are errors and omissions. I solicit suggestions and especially corrections. Send them to my e-mail address on that page.


    Show us some Turkoman figural coins!

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  3. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

    Great page, thank you for creating and listing it @Valentinian
  4. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Valentinian for creating this valuable resource. Here's a few of my Turkoman figural bronzes (which are listed in Spengler/Sayles):
    Artuqids of Mardin, Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan (597-637 AH/ 1201-1239 AD), S/S 43:
    Artuqid of Mardin.jpg
    Zengids of Aleppo. Nur al-Din Mahmud ibn Zengi (541-569 AH/ 1146-1174 AD):
    Zengids of Aleppo.jpg
    Zengids of Aleppo. Al-Salih Isma'il (569-577 AH/ 1174-1181 AD):
    Zangids of Aleppo.jpg
  5. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Wow, what a fantastic new resource! Thanks, @Valentinian!!

    I have a few of these, mostly Seljuq:
    Saladin SSS Ay-2.jpg
    Saladin, SSS Ay-2

    arslan ii SSS-Sel-2.jpg
    Arslan II, SSS-Sel-2, Album 1194.1

    kaykhusraw i SSS Sel-9.jpg
    Kaykhusraw I (first reign), SSS Sel-9, Album 1203

    And I recently bought this enthroned type, unidentified. It is presumably Seljuq, but I'm not sure which ruler... perhaps you can help?
    seljuq no ID.jpg
  6. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    What is the diameter (and weight)? I think it is SSS Sel-7 which, unlike yours, usually has the throne back curved. The reverse legend does not see to match up closely with the image on the Turkoman page, but I looked through Broome, a big book with 62 pages of plates with about 20 coins each and the reverse legend Broome shows does match more closely. So, that is my best guess. If someone reading this can actually decipher the Arabic, we would like to hear your attribution.
  7. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    Seljuqs of Rum, 'Izz al-Din Kayka'us II, 2nd reign, 1257-1261. Album 1231G/ 1210 with note "Formerly assigned to Kayka'us I, but stylistically this type must belong to Kayka'us II, assigned to his second reign by Izmirlier"; SSS Sel-16.

    السلطان الاعظم عز الدنيا و الدين

    al-sultan al-a'zam 'Izz al-Dunya wa al-Din

    the sultan, the very great, Glory of the World and of the Faith

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  8. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    SSS Sel-16 does not have the halo (nimbus) on the obverse seated figure and has a figure seated with visible individual legs, whereas the coin of @Severus Alexander has a halo and has the figure's legs folded under. I don't think it can be SSS Sel-16.
  9. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    As we can see at Zeno, there is some variation within the type. Some are standing (seated facing?), some are seated with legs to the side, others apparently cross-legged; at least one other has the nimbus (round throne back?), most do not. What all have in common is a seated figure on one side and a similar legend with the ruler's laqab on reverse. I can't speak to the degree of latitude the SSS type scheme allows but I am confident that it is Album 1210 (apparently changed to 1231G in the unpublished 4th ed) which is listed as the reference for SSS Sel-16.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  10. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Thanks, @Valentinian and @dltsrq for the help! I bought it because I thought the throne, nimbus, and leg position were unusual... good to now have an ID for the coin. Maybe I will upload it to Zeno as it's better than the similar #83125. Thanks again!

    18-20mm and 2.74g.
    dltsrq likes this.
  11. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    There are a couple of other Seljuq rulers with similar seated obverses, even one with the laqab 'Izz al-Din (Qilij Arslan II) but any of those would have a different legend on the reverse. Qilij Arslan II, for example, would be styled al-mu'azzam rather than al-a'zam. There is also Album 1225A which apparently is the same coin of Kayka'us II but attributed to the first rather than second reign.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  12. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    @dltsrq , I'd like to private message you, but your CT settings do not allow it. Would you please contact me, perhaps at the e-mail address on my page?
    Severus Alexander likes this.
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