Home : Indian Coins : The Gupta Empire (ca.240-550 AD) : Scarce lead unit of King Kumaragupta I (414-455 AD), Western provinces Garuda type, Gupta Empire

Scarce lead unit of King Kumaragupta I (414-455 AD), Western provinces Garuda type, Gupta Empire

Scarce lead unit of King Kumaragupta I (414-455 AD), Western provinces Garuda type, Gupta Empire

Formalized Garuda standing facing with spread wings, wavy line below, sun and crescent in upper fields /  Sri Kumaragupta in Brahmi within a square. 14mmx15mm, 1.42 grams. A. Fishman "The Base-metal Coins of the Western Kshatrapas" p.137. 

Much better than the scan.

By the time of the demise of the last of the Western Kṣatrapas, their base-metal coinage was limited to the square lead “bull type” coins. Sometimes in the late 320’s-330’s SE (ca.405-415 AD) the last of the Kṣatrapas, Rudrasiṁha III, was defeated by the Gupta King Chadragupta II Vikramaditya, whereupon the entire realm was annexed to the growing Gupta Empire. The great King Changragupta II (ca.375-415 AD) issued lead coins that imitated the weight, size and style of Kṣatrapa coinage, though the Gupta coins can easily be distinguished from the Kṣatrapa coins. The earliest of these coins reproduced the “bull” design on obverse, though the reverse was completely changed, replacing the Kṣatrapa symbols with the name of the Gupta Emperor. Soon, however, the bull on obverse was replaced with the facing Garuda with spread wings (a bird-shaped divinity that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythologies). The hill, sun and crescents on the reverse were replaced with the name of the Gupta King, engraved in large Brahmi characters. The custom of dating the coins was initially retained, was quickly abandoned, so most of the new lead coins were undated.

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