Coin of Giyath al-Din Kay-Khosraw II (reigned 1237-46)

Historical period(s)
Saljuq period, 1244 (641 A.H.)
Medium
Silver
Dimensions
H x W x D: 2.1 x 2.1 x 0.1 cm (13/16 x 13/16 x 1/16 in)
Geography
Turkey
Credit Line
Anonymous gift in honor of Lora and Ralph Redford
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1998.19
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Exchange Media, Metalwork
Type

Coin

Keywords
Saljuq period (1037 - 1300), Turkey, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1998
Private collector, acquired in Syria, to 1998 [1]

From 1998
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, given by a private collector in 1998

Notes:

[1] According to Provenance Remark 1 in the object record.

Previous Owner(s)

Dr. Scott Redford

Label

With the Arabic language as one of the most ubiquitous symbols of Islam, the script also became the principal element on coins, which served to represent the authority of the Islamic dynasties. Upon accession to the throne, each ruler considered it his royal prerogative to strike a coin in his name, thus affirming his new power and status. In addition to the king's name, the date, and place of the mint, most medieval Islamic coins also carried the shahada (the profession of faith: "there is no God but God and Muhammad is the Prophet of God").  

While most coins were relatively simple in design and relied primarily on writing as their decoration, others were more elaborate and combined words and images, as is evident from the silver coin on view. This thirteenth-century example is embellished with a depiction of a lion and a sun, probably representing the constellation Leo--an auspicious sign for Kay-Khusraw II, the Saljuq ruler of Anatolian Turkey in the thirteenth century. 

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.