as-Sikka السكة
The Online Journal of The Islamic Coins Group 
as-Sikka is a peer reviewed publication
ISSN 1496-4414 

Winter 2000AD / 1421AH       Vol. 2.3

 

GOLDEN HORDE COINS FROM SOLKHAT.
Konstantin K. Khromov

Brief historical information:
"Solkhat" is one of the names of the Qrim city (modern - Old Qrim). For a long time from the second half of the 13th Century until the disintegration of the Golden Horde in the 15th Century, the Qrim city was an administrative and commercial centre of the Crimean Ulus. According to modern numismatic data, the city had the following names: Qrim, Qrim al-Jadid (New Qrim), and Solkhat. According to the chronicles the city was named Qrim, Solkhat, and Surgat. These names appear in many legal and trade documents of the 13th-14th Centuries, and also in other written sources (Turkish, Tartar, Armenian, Venetian and Genoa). Researchers of the history of the Golden Horde of Crimea attempted to explain the varriations in the city's names. The most plaisable version is the one that relates the different names of the city to different ethnic groups of its population. The main argument of the supporters of this version is the following fact: The medieval Tartar documents mention only the name of "Qrim"; Genoa and others European ones mention only " Solkhat ".

Coins:
The coins baring the name " Solkhat" became known only recently. In the capital work "KHANATE OF THE CRIMEA UNDER THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE 18 CENTURY ", issued in St. Petersburg in 1887, its author, V. D. Smirnov specifies the absence of coins with the name of the city " Solkhat " (page 74). Due to recent finds, however, this is no longer true and at the present time the coins of the Solkhat of a usual type are no longer rare.

It was difficult to choose a coin with an extant circular legend among the coins of the present type, therefore the final reconstruction of a legend was made on the basis of the collation of more than ten coins in good undamaged state. Concerning the first five coins publishing below, all of them are at present unique examples and are numismatic rarities. Some coins of this type may be in small private collections of course and are unknown to the author. However, taking into account personal experience it is possible to argue, that of these coins no more than 2-3 examples maybe available.

The Solkhat's coins serve as a first example of using a combination of two types of tamgha as a basic element of the Golden Horde coins in the Crimea.

The dating of examined coins was based on the absence or presence of a legend with titles of the Toqtu khan (690-713AH) and the presence of a complex tamgha on all Solkhat's coins made of tamgha variants of the Batu Family as well as a three-leg tamgha, determined as the Nogay's tamgha.

At the beginning of the Toqtu Khan reign 690 AH(1290\1291AD) many copper and silver coins are known from Qrim. This fact is explained by continued economic prosparety of the Crimean Ulus and by the increase in the number of minters using the right of free coinage of copper in the Qrim. It is interesting to note here that similar increase in the number of minters and the insuing varriety of types issued is specific only to the Crimea. Both the Volga region types and those of Khwarezm remained at former levels. These Qirm copper issues can best be characterized as a commodity-currency in a limited geographical zone. This makes these coins of Qrim a unique phenomenon for Golden Horde numismatics and calls for a closer study.

The copper coins of Solkhat :

The variants of coins 1-5 and 8 are rare. The partial reconstruction of the image of this coins is made only from known coins.

1. Anonymous AE pull, no date (near 1289AD). Variants of the type as on the photo 1-3, figure 1-3.

wpe5BE.jpg (10729 bytes)
wpe5C2.jpg (7688 bytes)wpe5C1.jpg (7038 bytes)

1
wpe5BF.jpg (10475 bytes)
wpe5C4.jpg (5601 bytes)wpe5C3.jpg (6153 bytes)

2
wpe5C0.jpg (9333 bytes)
wpe5C6.jpg (5801 bytes)wpe5C5.jpg (5984 bytes)

3

Obverse: Image of a sun-face with solar rays forming a geomatric pattern between internal and external cartouche.

Reverse: At center, a complex tamgha, consisting the tamgha of the Batu family and a tamgha of the Nogay. To the left of the tamgha the word “minted” and on the right the word “Solkhat”. On one coin (photo 2, figure 2) to the left of the tamgha are different stars.

2. Anonymous AE pull, no date (near 1289AD). Photo 4, figure 4.

wpe5C7.jpg (9617 bytes)
wpe5C9.jpg (6159 bytes)wpe5C8.jpg (5665 bytes)

4

Obverse: Image of a sun-face with solar rays forming a geomatric pattern between internal and external cartouche.

Reverse: At center a complex tamgha, consisting of the tamgha of the Batu family in several variants of the image and a tamgha of the Nogay. To the left of tamgha “Solkhat”, to the right “minted”.

3. Anonymous AE pull, no date (near 1289AD). Photo 5, figure 5.

wpe5CA.jpg (11317 bytes)
wpe5CC.jpg (6175 bytes)wpe5CB.jpg (6144 bytes)

5

Obverse: Image of a sun-face with solar rays forming a geomatric pattern between internal and external cartouche.

Reverse: At center a complex tamgha, consisting of a tamgha of the Batu family in several variants of the image and a tamgha of the Nogay. To the left of tamgha “Qrim” instead of “Solkhat”, to the right “minted”.

4. Toqtu khan 790-712AH (1289-1312AD).

AE pull, no date (near 1289AD). Variants of the type as on the photo 6-8, figure 6-8.

wpe5CD.jpg (10653 bytes)
wpe5D1.jpg (6242 bytes)wpe5D0.jpg (6470 bytes)
6
wpe5CE.jpg (10955 bytes)
wpe5D3.jpg (6860 bytes)wpe5D2.jpg (6562 bytes)
7
wpe5CF.jpg (10269 bytes)
wpe5D5.jpg (6212 bytes)wpe5D4.jpg (5467 bytes)
8

Obverse: At center in a round linear cartuche is the image of the sun-face. between the internal and the external cartuche the legend “The Just Khan Toqtu (or Toqtugu)”.

Reverse: At the center a complex tamgha, consisting of the tamgha of the Batu family in several variants of the image and the tamgha of the Nogay. To the left of tamgha “Solkhat”; to the right “minted”.

 

 

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