What comes next? You've been freed. Do you know how hard it is to lead?
1808 Madras Presidency 10 Cash Ex. James Watt Jr. With Shells & Wrapper

Obverse:

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Reverse:

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Coin Details

Origin/Country: INDIA - BRITISH
Item Description: 10CASH 1808 MADRAS PRESIDENCY (4.7g) Ex. James Watt Jr.
Full Grade: NGC PF 65 BN
Owner: coinsandmedals

Set Details

Custom Sets: What comes next? You've been freed. Do you know how hard it is to lead?
Competitive Sets: This coin is not competing in any sets.
Research: NGC Coin Price Guide

Owner Comments:

I came across this coin at roughly the same time when I bought the 1804 Bombay Pice, and just like its counterpart, this coin is exceptional. The first Madras Presidency coinage contract proceeded Boulton's engagement to strike for the Bombay Presidency, but this coin is a byproduct of a later contract and thus displayed after the Bombay piece. You will likely notice that the obverse between the two pieces is the same. The East India Company had control over both territories, and was logical to include their coat of arms on the coinage that circulated freely between them. Like its Bombay counterpart, this piece has retained its original shells and wrapper and is traced back to the collection of James Watt Jr.


The story of the last Madras Coinage contract is marred with bad fortune. First, the Soho Mint and the East India Company sparred over logistics (price, who would obtain the copper, etc.). Then the Soho Mint made a major mistake and produced too many of one denomination and not enough of another, which created a shortage of the later (Doty, 1998). This shortage was further exasperated when the Admiral Gardner ships sank in early 1809, leaving the company with many issues. This would be the last Madras contract for the Soho Mint.

Obverse: The Obverse design is rather pleasing, with the East India Company's arms surrounded by the legend. The company's arms consist of two outward-facing lions perched on top of a curved ribbon bearing the inscription "AUSPICIO REGIS & SENATUS ANGLIAE" which translates to "By right of the King and Senate of England". The innermost foot of each lion is resting upon a ball above the ribbon. The lions are upright on hind legs supporting a shield with one arm and holding a slightly angled flagpole bearing an English flag. The shield is quartered, a crowned shield depicting the English and French coat of arms appears on the upper left-hand side. The remaining three quadrants are blank. Centered immediately above the central shield supported by the upright lions is a knight's helmet adorned with a necklace. Centered upon the top of the helmet is an upright lion with one paw resting on a ball. The lion is holding a regal crown and facing the viewer of the coin. The legend "EAST INDIA COMPANY" adorns the top of the coin. The date "1808" rests at the bottom centered under the coat of arms. The somewhat peculiarly spaced beaded border is contained within a very thin raised rim.

Reverse: The reverse design is much more simplistic than the obverse but significantly more complicated for the English engravers to execute. The denomination "DAH KAS DO FALUS AST" or “ 10 CASH MAKE TWO FALUS” appears in Persian above two parallel lines. Immediately below THE denomination, the legend "X. CASH." appears just above a decorated divider with a flower in the center and radiating branches bisected by progressively smaller balls. The entire reverse design is contained within a beaded bored and a thin raised rim.

Edge: Plain

Notes: The holder this coin is housed in also very scuffed and needs to be replaced. The scuffed holder makes it nearly impossible to capture decent pictures of this coin, so once it is placed in a new holder, I will upload better images of it. For now, you will need to imagine what the coin should look like behind the marred plastic. Overall the piece is free of any major marks, and the color is the same rich milk chocolate brown color found on the Bombay piece. Unfortunately, it does not have the same cameo contrast but is a very pleasing coin nonetheless. I hope to eventually add more of these Watt Jr. pieces to the collection, but they seldom come up for auction. It should also be noted that this is a lightweight piece weighing just 4.7 grams instead of 6.47.

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