Cross of the order of Christ, small letter "F" in the center of the cross, I-S/M-A within the cross' compartments (for "Ioanes Senhor Malacca") / Armillary sphere with an ecliptic band falling from upper left corner to the lower right corner.. 17mm, 3.57 grams. Malacca mint. Cast tin, unpublished. SMK -; Sim.-.
The small "F" in the center of the cross is thought to refer to St.Francis Xavier, the famous Catholic missionary who performed a lot of miracles in Melaka and was buried there. St.Francis Xavier is remembered for his extensive missionary work in the Far East, as well as for being one of the founders of the Jesuit order.The coins carrying a small F on reverse are thought to refer to this Saint, perhaps related to his visit to Malacca or to his burial there in 1553. These coins are unpublished and are EXTREMELY rare. Malaka was captured by the Portuguese on the 24th of August, 1511, after an attack on the city by a force led by Alfonso D'Albuquerque, the 2nd Viceroy of Portuguese India (1509-1515) and who was to become to the first governor of Melaka. The Melaka remained occupied by the Portuguese for the next 130 years, until the year 1541, when the Dutch occupied the city following an 8 months siege.(F384-w32059)