Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Weight

Weight

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)

  • Date:

    1021-1036 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stamped green glass

  • Museum number:

    360:8-1900

  • 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 2.57 grammes and we think it was used to balance silver coinage weighing one dirham. It was produced in the reign of the caliph al-Zahir (1021-1036). His regnal name in its full form, al-Zahir li-I'zaz Din Allah, appears between the titles Imam and Commander of the Faithful on the obverse. (This is the side of the coin that carries the main design.) The inscription on the reverse is illegible.

Physical description

Green glass coin weight with stamped legends in Arabic on both sides, although the reverse is illegible. Equates to the weight of a dirham.

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)

Date

1021-1036 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Stamped green glass

Marks and inscriptions

'al-!imaam al-Zaahir / li-!i?zaaz diin allaah / !amiir al-mu!miniin'
'The Imam al-Zahir li-I'zaz Din Allah, the Commander of the Faithful'
Arabic; Arabic; obverse; stamped

Traces of a legend

Dimensions

Diameter: 2.2 cm, Diameter: 1.5 cm of die, Weight: 2.57 g

Descriptive line

Middle East, Glass, Green coin weight, from the reign of the Fatimid Caliph al-Zahir (1021-1036). Equates to the weight of a 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.108, plate 48c

Production Note

The Fatimid caliph al-Zahir (1021-1036) is named in the inscriptions.

Materials

Glass

Techniques

Stamped

Categories

Islam; Africa

Collection

Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.