Heritage Auctions’ November sale of the Dr. Hans Wilski Ottoman Collection included a most desirable rarity: a 41 mm, 26.72 g reform kurush overstruck on a Dutch lion daalder at the Constantinople Mint. The catalog listing spells out its rarity, “KM-Unl., ICV-Unl., Mitch-Unl., Pere-Unl., Damali-22-K-G1-Mim 5.”
The coin represents the efforts of Sultan Mustafa II to both replace the long-reigning small silver akce as the primary silver denomination of the Ottoman economy and to rid the country of European taler-type coins then in wide circulation.
To this end, an Imperial Order was issued in AH 1108 (1697) that all foreign coins circulating in the open market were to be collected and reminted with the Sultan’s toughra. This was his signature or seal. It effectively guaranteed the legitimacy and quality of the new coinage.
The quickest and most effective way of doing this was to overstrike the existing coins. That sold is a typical example. It may be the only example overstruck on a Dutch lion daalder in private hands. All similar pieces listed in Atom Damali’s “History of Ottoman Coins” reside in museums.
Although dated AH 1106 (1694/5), the coin was overstruck after AH 1108 (1697). Graded AU50 ANACS, it had no problems finding a home for $10,200.
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