Kings of Awadh

Silver Silver Seven Rupi-weight Coronation Donative Medallion

Obverse

Three-quarter facing bust of ruler wearing six-pointed crown with richly bejewelled necklace and collars

Around: Sikka zad bar sim-u zar az fadl-i rabb-i dhu’l-minan Ghazi al-din Haydar-i ‘Ali nasab shah-i zaman sana ahad. “Struck coin on gold and silver by the grace of the great and Almighty God. Ghazi al-din Haydar, of lofty lineage, king of the world, year one.”

Reverse

In field: the arms of the House of Burhan; two fish facing flanked by two lions holding banners to left and right, above a dagger surmounted by a crown

Around: floral scroll pattern with inscription in Persian

Ghazi al-din Haydar began his period of rule as the Nawwab-Wazir of Awadh under the nominal overlordship of the Mughal ruler Shah ‘Alam II. However, the British Resident at that time, Col. John Bailey, did not hesitate to interfere in the day-to-day administration of the state. With the support of Lord Hastings, the Governor General of India, who wished to reduce the prestige of the Mughals, Haydar was persuaded to declare independence in 1234 H/1819 CE and was proclaimed king. He was notoriously extravagant, and a huge amount of money was spent on a throne for him, which was made of pure gold and silver, studded with pearls, gold and silver thread. To mark his accession Haydar struck this splended silver coronation donative medallion with its realistic portrait and laudatory legends. On it the word sikka (coin) is used rather than the word tamgha (medal). Unfortunately Haydar was not a successful ruler, and throughout his reign he was under the malign influence of unscrupulous ministers. His extravagance included the use of treasury funds to give to the needy and provide dowries for poor girls, but the maladministration of the state led to the decline of the Awadh dynasty.

Kings of Awadh

MaterialSilver
TypeSilver Seven Rupi-weight Coronation Donative Medallion
RulerUnknGhazi al-din Haydar bin Nawwab Sa’adat ‘Ali Khan As Nawwab
MintWithout mint name but struck in Dar al-Saltinat Lakhnaw, suba Awadh
DateRegnal year ‘ahd (regnal year 1 = 1819 CE)
Weight78.04g
Diameter65mm