A piece of antiquity billed as a rarity — a one-rupee silver coin struck at Kabul mint by Shahjahan to declare rebellion against his father Jahangir in 1627 — is going under the hammer in Bengaluru on February 26. This is the first time that the coin, which was minted just before the death of Jahangir, has surfaced in public. The coin has been struck at Kabul in the name of Khurram, the pre-accession name of Shahjahan, and is being sold by an unidentified person from central India. The coin was an important aspect in the power struggle between Jahangir and his first son Khurram (Shahjahan). “Rare coins were struck in the name of Khurram during the early reign of Shahjahan in the mints of Lahore and Kabul. By far, the rarest of all is the one-rupee coin minted in Kabul. Along with one more known to be in a private collection, this coin going under the hammer has helped reconstruct the full legend of the coin,” said Rajender Maru of Marudhar Arts, the auction house that is conducting the auction on February 24.
“This coin is known as a ‘rebellion issue’ since they were struck to declare Khurram as the emperor even though his father Jahangir was the ruler, to undermine the latter’s authority. This became unique because an angry Jahangir got the coins minted in Kabul destroyed. The one going for auction and another one known to be in a private collection are the only known ones to have survived,” he added.
Khurram was the name given to Shahjahan by his grandfather Akbar. While Khurram had a fallout with his father in 1622 due to palace intrigues, in the power struggle after the death of Jahangir, Khurram defeated his younger brother Shahriyar and ascended the throne in Agra on February 16, 1628, taking the name Shahjahan. The silver coin weighing 11.20 gram has the name Shahjahan Khurram bin Jahangir Badshah Gazi and Zarb Kabul (name of mint) in Persian and Arabic. The Hijri year has been mentioned as 1037. According to the auction house, the coin survived despite the threat of coercive action by Jahangir. Also going under the hammer are one-rupee silver coins of Shahjahan minted in Ahmedabad, Burhanpur and Bhilsa mints, silver coins of Jahangir minted in Ahmednagar, Burhanpur and Elichpur, and silver coins of Noor Jahan, minted in Patna and Surat.