Classical Numismatic Group > Islamic Auction 2Auction date: 27 October 2022
Lot number: 124

Price realized: 600 USD   (Approx. 597 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


Umayyad Caliphate, Bronze coinage. Æ Fals (18mm, 2.36 g, 9h). Nimruz mint. Dated AH 115 (AD 733/4). Obverse field: ∵ / bismillah / duriba Nimr- / ∵uz / Reverse field: ∵ / sanat khams / 'ashra wa mi'at / ∴. Unpublished. Good VF. Of the highest rarity, apparently unique.


Estimate: 1000 USD

Match 1:
Classical Numismatic Group > Islamic Auction 2Auction date: 27 October 2022
Lot number: 119

Price realized: 700 USD   (Approx. 697 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


Umayyad Caliphate, Silver coinage. AR Dirham (26mm, 2.76 g, 6h). 'Wasit' mint. Dated AH 95 (AD 713/4). Reverse field: eight-pointed star above, crescent below. Cf. Klat 690.b (without crescent on reverse). Fine. Very rare.

Umayyad dirhams bearing an eight-pointed star above the reverse field are generally believed to have been struck at an uncertain mint in North Africa, even though they the mint-name 'Wasit.' Klat records a single specimen of this variety.

Estimate: 500 USD

Match 2:
Classical Numismatic Group > Islamic Auction 2Auction date: 27 October 2022
Lot number: 110

Price realized: 200 USD   (Approx. 199 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


Umayyad Caliphate, Silver coinage. AR Dirham (27mm, 2.84 g, 6h). Marw mint. Dated AH 81 (AD 700/1). Obverse field: mint-name in Pahlawi in fourth line / Reverse: margin ends al-mushrikūn. Klat 583.b. Pierced. Good VF. Rare, only four specimens of this variety recorded by Klat.


Estimate: 150 USD

Match 3:
Classical Numismatic Group > Islamic Auction 2Auction date: 27 October 2022
Lot number: 84

Price realized: 12,000 USD   (Approx. 11,942 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


Umayyad Caliphate, Silver coinage. AR Dirham (28mm, 2.70 g, 7h). Arminiya mint. Dated AH 78 (AD 697/8). Obverse margin: Muhammad rasul Allah arsulahu bi'l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu 'ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun (Qur'an ix, 33)
Obverse field: la ilaha illa / Allah wahdahu / la sharik lahu / Reverse margin: bismillah duriba hadha al-dirham bi-Arminiya fi sanat thaman wa saba'in
Reverse field:Allah ahad / Allah al-samad lam / yalid wa lam yulad / wa lam yakun lahu / kufuan ahad. Klat 45 = Naqshabandi & Bakri 3 (same reverse die). Pierced, small portion of edge broken and repaired. Near EF. Lightly toned. Excessively rare.

All Umayyad post-Reform silver from the year AH 78 is of the highest rarity, to the extent that Walker, writing in 1956, was unaware that any such coins even existed.



Walker believed that the earliest post-Reform Umayyad silver coin was a mintless dirham dated AH 79 (Walker p.104, Kh.4), which he attributed – almost certainly correctly – to the mint of Damascus. He considered that this was an experimental piece which, like the associated reformed gold dinars, was struck without a mint-name. On this analysis, Walker argued that the first post-reform silver coins were issued in Damascus in AH 79, and that it was only when a number of other mints subsequently began striking dirhams that it was felt necessary to incorporate the mint-name also. The two pieces offered here show why Walker's hypothesis, while plausibly argued, now needs fundamental revision.



It is now known that at least five different mints struck reform-type dirhams in AH 78: Adharbayjan, Arminiya (as here), Jayy, Shaqq al-Taymara, al-Kufa, and possibly Damascus also. While some of these dirhams are essentially identical to issues struck from AH 79 onwards, Arminiya is one of two mints where dirhams struck in AH 78 have legends arranged differently from the norm. Here, the legend in the reverse field is spread over five lines rather than the usual four, and the mint and date is positioned in the reverse margin rather than on the obverse. It is difficult to reconcile these glaring divergencies with Walker's argument that the reformed dirham coinage was an innovation which spread outwards from Damascus. It seems more likely that the decision to begin striking the new coins at all Umayyad silver mints was taken in AH 78, and that while most did not begin production until the following year, a handful of mints were in a position to begin immediately. In the case of Arminiya, where the caliph's brother Muhammad b. Marwan was then governor, silver drachms were already being struck locally shortly before the coinage reforms were implemented. Having local workers who could produce new dies on site might explain why Armenia could begin striking post-Reform dirhams before other mints. The placing of the mint/date formula on the reverse is exactly the same arrangement as seen on the post-Reform gold coinage, and it may well be that the die-engravers in Armenia used gold dinars as their prototypes when engraving dies for the new silver dirhams; this would further argue against the idea that dirhams were first struck in Damascus and only then introduced elsewhere.

Estimate: 10000 USD

Match 4:
Classical Numismatic Group > Islamic Auction 2Auction date: 27 October 2022
Lot number: 91

Price realized: 30,000 USD   (Approx. 29,856 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


Umayyad Caliphate, Silver coinage. AR Dirham (26mm, 2.71 g, 6h). Bamm mint. Dated AH 80 (AD 699/700). Small portion of edge chipped and refixed. Near EF. Of the highest rarity, apparently unique.

Founded by the Sasanians, Bamm was a strongly fortified town in the province of Kirman. Its citadel was described by one contemporary writer as being impregnable, but the local water was apparently bad, and a complex network of aqueducts supplied most of the Bamm's water supply. According to Arab geographical writers of the 9/10th century, the town's prosperity was primarly based on dates and especially cotton, which was grown locally and used to manufacture fabric. Speaking of Bamm, the great traveller Ibn Hawqal reported that 'they weave splendid, beautiful and durable cotton garments which are sent to places all over the world. They also make fine clothes, each of which costs around thirty dinars, and these are sold in Khurasan, Iraq, and Egypt.'



This is the first Umayyad dirham known from Bamm. It is extremely rare for a new Umayyad dirham mint to come to light, and this is only the second such discovery within the past decade, the other being a coin from the mint of al-Hind, which sold for $140,000 hammer in CNG Triton XXII (8 January 2019), lot 1229.



While more than a hundred mints struck Umayyad silver dirhams between AH 78-132, for much of this period only a small number were active at any one time, with production generally centred on Wasit and Damascus. But we can observe two clear periods when this centralised model of Umayyad dirham production clearly did not apply, and as many as forty or fifty different mints were operational in a given year. The first period, to which this coin belongs, spanned the six years between the introduction of the reformed silver coinage in AH 78 and the foundation of Wasit in AH 84. Virtually all of the mints operating during these years were located in the East and had previously issued Arab-Sasanian drachms; this is hardly surprising given that these locations would have already had the personnel, resources and infrastructure to strike the new coins. Almost all of them were closed after AH 84, when dirham production in the East was focused on Wasit.



A few years later, dozens of Eastern dirham mints were opened again in AH 90, but not all of those which had been operational from AH 78-84, were reopened, and some of the mints which began striking in AH 90 were completely new. This may suggest that the decision to revert to a decentralised pattern of dirham production in AH 90 was part of a wider series of changes in Umayyad taxation and provincial administration. Bamm was one of those mints which were not reopened during the 90s, and the recent study by Diler records no further coins being produced there before a small issue of Buwayhid dirhams was struck at Bamm in the 360s.



It is surprising that Bamm has not previously been confirmed as an Arab-Sasanian drachm mint. In his latest Checklist of Islamic Coins, Album has tentatively proposed that the Pahlawi mint-signature KRMAN-BN might refer to Bamm (Album p. 21), and this identification is followed by Diler in his monumental Islamic Mints, although the most recent study of the Arab-Sasanian coinage by Malek still considers KRMAN-BN as unidentified. However, the existence of the present coin suggests that Bamm had indeed previously been an Arab-Sasanian mint, as many of the early reform dirham mints were. That being so, KRMAN-BN would seem to be the most likely candidate.

Estimate: 40000 USD

Match 5:
Classical Numismatic Group > Islamic Auction 2Auction date: 27 October 2022
Lot number: 288

Price realized: 17,000 USD   (Approx. 16,918 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


Samanids. Mansur I b. Nuh. AH 350-365 / AD 961-976. AR Medallion (33mm, 12.07 g, 12h). Bukhara mint. Dated AH 358 (AD 968/9). Obverse margin: bismillah duriba hadha al-dirham bi-Bukhara sanat thaman wa khamsin wa thalath miat hijra nabi salla Allah 'alayhi
Obverse field:la ilaha illa Allah / wahdahu la sharik lahu / Muhammad rasul Allah / al-Muti' lillah / al-malik al-muzaffar / Mansur b. Nuh / Reverse: Bust of Anahita facing left; Pahlawi legend xvarrah 'apzwt - Shahanshah to right and left. Toned. VF. Of the highest rarity, believed one of only two specimens known.


Estimate: 25000 USD