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Weight

Weight

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)

  • Date:

    1013-1021 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stamped green glass

  • Museum number:

    360:12-1900

  • Gallery location:

    Glass, Room 131, case 85, shelf 4

People used coin weights such as this in Egypt under the Fatimid dynasty (969-1171). This example weighs 1.46 grammes and we think it was used to balance the weight of half a dirham in silver. It was produced in the reign of the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim (996-1021), whose name was stamped on the obverse. (This is the side of the coin that carries the main design.) The caliph's name is followed by the phrase 'and his heir apparent'. This is a reference to 'Abd al-Rahim ibn Ilyas. He was heir apparent from 1013 until al-Hakim's death in 1021 but did not succeed him. The inscription on the reverse is illegible.

Physical description

Green coin glass weight, equating to the weight of a half-dirham.

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)

Date

1013-1021 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Stamped green glass

Marks and inscriptions

'al-Haakim / wa-waliyy ?ahdihi'
'Al-Hakim and his heir apparent.'
Arabic; Arabic; obverse; stamped

Dimensions

Diameter: 1.6 cm, Diameter: 1.0 cm of die, Weight: 1.46 g

Descriptive line

Green coin weight, from the reign of the Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim (996-1021). Equates to the weight of a half-dirham. Egypt (Cairo)

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Balog, Paul, "Fatimid glass jetons: token currency or coin weights?", Annali, Istituto Italiano di Numismatica, 17-19 (1971-2): 175-264
Balog, Paul, "Fatimid glass jetons: token currency or coin weights?", Annali, Istituto Italiano di Numismatica, 20 (1973): 121-212
Contadini, Anna, Fatimid Art at the Victoria & Albert Museum. London: V&A Publications, 1998. p.107, plate 48b

Production Note

The name of the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim (996-1021) in the inscription is followed by the phrase 'and his heir apparent', a reference to 'Abd al-Rahim ibn Ilyas, who was appointed heir apparent in 1013.

Materials

Glass

Techniques

Stamped

Categories

Islam; Africa

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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