Cairo Egypt Gold Coin Ottoman Sultani 1003 AH - 1595 AD Mohammed III Son Of Murad III- XF
Description: Gold Sultani coin struck in Misr current day Fustat, which is a neighborhood on the outskirts of Cairo the current capital of Egypt. The coin was struck during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Mehmet or Mohammed III son of Murad III, who ascended the throne in 1595 AD (1003 AH). The coin was struck in the period 1595-1603 AD (1003-1012 AH). The coin clearly shows the date as 1003 AH. The year 1003 AH is Mohammed's accession date to the throne. Ottoman coins at that time used such a date for most coins struck during a sultan's reign and did not have the actual year of striking indicated. It also clearly shows the mint as Misr current day Fustat on the outskirts of Cairo Egypt. The obverse of the coin has the words "Sultan Mohammed ibn Murad Khan Ezat Nasruh Duriba Fee Misr Sanat 1003" (literally translated as The Sultan Mohammed son of Murad khan, may his glory be holy, struck in Egypt in the year 1003). The reverse reads "Sultan al-Barain wa Khaqan al-Bahrain, al-Sultan ibn al-Sultan" which translates to Ruler of the two land and conqueror of the two seas the sultan son sultan. The coin, which is struck on a relatively large flan, has a beautiful, bold, and well centered strike and displays nice calligraphy as well as a nice arabesque ornamentation in the center of the obverse. The coin has areas of strike flatness and weakness along the edges, which can be seen in the scan. Please carefully review the scan presented as it is part and parcel of our description.
Date: Marked 1003 AH or 1595 AD.
Mint: Cairo, Egypt.
Size and Weight: This is a sultani, weighs 3.52 grams and is about 22.9 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 13240, KM# 6, is listed in Mitchiner as 1265 and referred to as Funduk, and is listed in Lane Poole's Catalog of the Khedivial Collection as 1679-1690.
Condition: I would grade this coin as a beautiful good extremely fine with some areas of strike weakness and flatness along the edges but still having a well centered, bold strike. The calligraphy is beautiful and very readable and is all there. This is a quality coin worthy of a spot in your Islamic coin collection. Please see photo to appreciate the quality and condition of this beautiful coin.
Historic Perspective: Unlike prior Islamic coins struck in Egypt, Ottoman coins do not have long praying sentences. They contain the name of the Sultan and his father's, name of the mint, the accession date for the Sultan, and a short wishful sentence such as "khullide mulkehu (may his rule be permanent)" or "azzet nasrehu (may his glory be holy)".
The Ottoman Empire existed from 699 AH (1300 AD) till 1341AH (1924 AD). In the beginning, the Ottoman state struck only silver coins known as Akce until the reign of Muhammad II (Mehmet the conqueror). On May 29, 1453, Mehmet II conquered Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire. He made it the capital of the Ottoman State and called in Konstantiniye or Qustantinya (current day Istanbul). In 1478 he began striking Gold coins known as Sultani (also known as Dinar, Ashrafi, Funduk, or Altin). He based it on the Venetian ducat standard of 3.5 gram of high purity gold (over 21K).
Egypt was conquered by Selim I in 1517 AD (921 AH) and the mamluk rule was ended. Selim I, began striking coins in Cairo and used the mint name "MISR" on the coins. Although the Ottoman were the official rulers of Egypt the mamluks still wheeled quite a bit of power until Mohammad Ali massacred the last of them at the Cairo Citadel in the early 1800's.
The Ottoman empire reached the height of its power under Sulayman I the Magnificent, with territory extending across north Africa and through the Balkans into Hungary. Coins were struck in more than forty mints spread throughout the empire. Sulayman was distinguished for his justice and tolerance. His military, educational, and legal reforms earned him the name Sulayman the Lawgiver (al-Kanuni) among Muslims. He was fond of pomp and splendor and was a lavish patron of the arts and of literature.
Mohammed III, the grandson of Suleyman the magnificent, remains notorious even in Ottoman history for having nineteen of his brothers and half-brothers executed to secure power. They were all strangled by his deaf-mutes. He was an idle ruler, leaving government to his mother. The major event of his reign was the Austro-Ottoman War in Hungary (1593–1606). Ottoman defeats in the war caused him to take personal command of the army. Mohammed III's armies conquered Eger in 1596 and defeated the Habsburg and Transylvanian forces at the Battle of Keresztes. In general, he was more conservative than his predecessor and largely halted artistic patronage. His reign saw no major setbacks for the supposedly declining Ottoman Empire. He died at Topkapi Palace, Constantinople.