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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Sale: CNG 66, Lot: 1875. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 19 May 2004. 
Sold For $2300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

INDIA. Mughal Kings. Zahir al-Din Muhammad Bahadur (Babur), as Sultan of Ferghana. 1494-1504. AR Tanka (4.66 gm). Struck during his occupation of Samarkand 1497-1498 (AH 903). A silver tanka of the Timurid sultan Husayn Baiqara, countermarked with the the Persian legend "adl Sultan Zahir al-Din Muhammad Bahadur 903" in a leaf shaped punch. R. Grossman, "An Early Countermark of Babur," ONS Newsletter 133 (1992) (this coin); MWI -; KM -; Wright -; Album 2463 note. Coin VF, c/m EF. Extremely rare; the first numismatic reference to the founder of the Mughal dynasty. ($750)

From the William B. Warden Collection.

Although Babur was a direct descendent of the great Mongol rulers Ghengis Khan and Tamerlane (Timur), the realm he inherited upon his father's death in 1494 did not extend beyond the confines of the remote province of Ferghana (Khokand). Being only 11 years old at the time, he quickly lost even that to rivals, and retreated into the mountains with a band of loyal followers to prepare a plan of reconquest; his ultimate ambition being to reclaim the ancestoral throne at Samarkand. In 1497 he briefly held the city for some 100 days, at which time these rare countermarked coins were issued. Babur was never able to retain complete control of Persia, and after a decisive defeat in 1512, he turned his sights to India. Despite his youthful reversals, Babur proved an equal to his illustrious ancestors, crushing the Afghans and Rajputs at the battles of Panipat and Khanua in 1526 and 1527 and leaving his Mongol (Mughal) dynasty as masters of northern India.