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1803 Madras Presidency 10 Cash Ex. James Watt Jr. With Shells & Wrapper





Coin Details

Origin/Country: India - British
Item Description: 10CASH 1803 INDIA 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 Explorer

Owner Comments:

This coin alongside the other Madras and Bombay Presidency pieces marks some of the first coins I acquired with the Watt Jr. provenance. As such, they hold a special place within the larger context of my collection. For the sake of simplicity, I have opted to include this entry just above that of the 1808 10 Cash piece, although this does not align with the rest of the general layout of the set. You will likely notice that the obverse between the two pieces is the same between the Madras and Bombay coins. 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 two other counterparts, 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 "AUSP 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 "1803" 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: I was able to work closely with NGC to get this coin and its shells housed together in a single multi-coin holder. The slab makes for an impressive display, but more importantly, it helps ensure that the shells remain paired with the coin. In general, the coin is remarkably well persevered and does not exhibit excessive hairlines. When purchased, it came with an old NGC insert with the grade of PF-66 BN. In my opinion, the piece is conservatively graded. Unlike its 1808 counterpart, this piece weighs the standard issue weight of 6.47 grams.

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