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Extremely Rare Rafi al-Daulat Shah Jahan II

290, Lot: 486. Estimate $2500.
Sold for $1500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

INDIA, Mughal Empire. Rafi al-Daulat Shah Jahan II. AH 1121/AD 1719. AR Rupee (23mm, 11.27 g, 11h). Dar al-Khair Ajmir mint. Dated AH 113[1]; RY 1 (6-8 June AD 1719, or slightly later). Persian couplet citing name and titles of Shah Jahan; AH date in exergue / Mint and RY formula. Wright -; Hull -; KM 415.2; S. Goron, “Ajmir - A rupee of Rafi’-ud-Daulah (Shah Jehan II),” ONS Newsletter No. 100 (March-May 1986), p. 5, no. 2 (this coin). VF, patches of horn silver, shroff mark on obverse. Extremely rare.

Between 1707 and 1722, the Sayyad brothers Abdullah Khan and Hussein Ali Khan acted as king-makers during this turbulent period of Mughal politics. Following their assassination of Farrukhsiyar in late February 1719, the brothers placed his cousin, Rafi al-Darjat, on the throne. From then until he was deposed on 4 June after a reign of a little over three months, the new emperor was under the control of the brothers. On 6 June, the Abdullah Khan presented Rafi al-Daulat, the older brother of Rafi al-Darjat, to the Mughal court as a replacement. Two days later, on 8 June, Rafi al-Daulat was installed on the throne with the lofty throne-name of Shah Jahan II, and most of his very rare coinage carries this post accession name. Although news of the succession would have gone out from the capital almost immediately for the purpose of transitioning the imperial mints to the new reign, the news of his assumption of a throne name, proclaimed as it was two days later, may have reached the mints after a further delay. For a distant mint like Ajmer in Rajasthan, which was over two hundred miles from the capital, such news would have taken several days if on foot.