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  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)

  • Date:

    1021-1036 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stamped green glass

  • Museum number:


  • 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)


1021-1036 (made)



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


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.






Islam; Africa


Ceramics Collection

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