AUD $110.00
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Silk Route Bronze Coin Pendant.

Sorry, this stylish old coin pendant is no longer available. However, we may still have one similar, just "search" Bronze Coin Pendant.

This heavy copper coin from the Silk Route, some where in what was Turkestan, has been set into handmade Sterling Silver decorated with graduated balls and two fine wire twists.

I’ve been thinking it bore the Persian Lion insignia (the hind legs and tail are clearly visible although the coin has been struck way off centre) but now feel it’s actually the striped lion and sun face images that you see on the wondrously tiled entrance to the Shir Dor Madrassa, built around 1619, in the Registan in Samarkand.

Sacked in 1220 AD by Genghis Khan, Samarkand rose again under his descendants, and was Timur’s (Tamerlane) glorious capital.

Described in the early 1900’s by Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, as “the Reghistan was originally, and is still, even in its ruins, the noblest public square in the world. I know nothing in the East approaching it in massive simplicity and grandeur, and nothing in Europe … What Samarkand must have been in its prime, when these great fabrics emerged from the mason’s hands, intact and glittering with all the effulgence of a rainbow….”

Although this image turns up in both Bukhara and Iran, the best known is the prominently placed pair facing each other on the madrassa entrance and recognised as a symbol of Samarkand. It appears to predate the Persian Qajar version which holds a sword aloft.

The impression of the lion is very shallow or worn from use. On the tile work the lion has tiger stripes but is generally considered to be a lion, (“Shir Dor” means “Lion Bearing”) as it holds a long and powerful place in Persian and Central Asian imagery. Look at Assyrian Kings hunting and fighting lions to show their power.

Whilst the lions hindquarters are visible the sun on this coin is not, (possibly harking back to Mithras, Zoroastrian and even earlier sun worship) but if you want to see others check the pendants AP119, AP121 and rings AR118, etc.

It has a dark bronze patina, so be careful polishing the silver you don’t want to remove the patina from the coin.
A light rub with a dry silver polishing cloth should remove the silver oxide.

The 6 mm silver suspension loop will easily take a chain, cord or medium silver choker.

Age: probably 18th or early 19th century (it could be earlier.)

Size: H 18 including the suspension loop x W 24 mm across the coin.

Weight: 23 grams