INDIA, NAWABS of AWADH: Anon AR 1/8 rupee ino Shah Alam II, Banaras, RY 22. UNLISTED, UNIQUE+CHOICE!

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Obverse Legend
Reverse Legend, including regnal year 22 and mintmarks fish and star
Date RY 22 = AH 1195 = c. 1781 CE
Weight 1.35 gm.
Diameter 12 mm.
Die axis 9 o'clock
Reference Pridmore --, KM ---, MNI ---, unpublished, believed UNIQUE
A remarkable and potentially important coin. It was actively discussed some years ago on the South Asia Coins Discussion Group, but no definitive conclusion was reached. As of March 24, 2023, with help from Abhishek Chatterjee, I believe I finally have the proper attribution.
First, the summary of the earlier discussion by a very knowledgeable group.

The coin's style suggests that the mint could be Murshidabad, but the Murshidabad mint had by this time been taken over by the East India Company, and they did not issue coins with regnal years greater than 19, as all coins issued after that time bore the frozen RY 19 on them. The "eastern" style of the coin prompted Prashant Kulkarni to suggest that it was issued at a yet unidentified mint in Bengal.

On the other hand, Jan Lingen noted the fish mintmark and therefore suggested Allahabad as the issuing mint, since the fish mintmark was used there. However, there are no known coins from Allahabad of the year 22. Further, Allahabad coins did not carry a star mintmark also, which this coin does.

Mahadji Sindhia issued coins from Agra Akbarabad after RY 30 which carried a star mintmark on the obverse and a fish mintmark on the reverse. Might this coin have been issued in Agra? Probably not, as year 22 coins from Agra do not carry a star mintmark. Nevertheless, this is potentially useful information. Might the Sindhias have issued this coin at some hitherto unidentified mint?
Now for the solution to this puzzle. The fish mintmark actually was used in this form at the mint in Muhammadabad Banaras under the Nawabs of Awadh. KM A99 shows a paisa from that mint with the RY 22 and the fish mintmark. KM 100.1 shows 1/8 rupees from the same mint, with mintmark parasol. But that type is listed only for RY 23 and 24. So, presumably, the mint was using the fish mintmark until RY 22 and this coin is proof that they were doing so not only on the copper paisas, but also on the silver coinage. KM does not list a single silver coin with RY 22.
A CHOICE and very interesting, UNIQUE coin! A prize for advanced collectors of Awadh coins!
Prix SKU: M2925a
US$ 295.00
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Cotation au: 06/10/23

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