Scarce large tin gambar, c.1300s, proto-coinage of Malaysia (Mitchiner NIS 3072)

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Circa 14th century AD. Tin Gambar (also known as Malay tin ingot currency). Rectangular tin bar formed of a bent and tamped sheet. 91mm long, 14mm wide, 33.26 grams. Mitchiner, Non-Islamic 3072; Zeno 17823; cf. CNG e-auction 299 lot 535 (item #229777); Opitz -; Quggin - .

Cast tin coin, made in a shape of a flat rectangle which was folded over. Rare piece, not often seen.

For centuries, the tin mines in Malaysia and Indonesia produced large amounts of tin. This tin was made into religious sculptures that were exported as far as India, into imitations of Chinese cash coins and into these curious ingots, "canoe-money" or "boat-money" that widely circulate as money in Indonesia and Malaysia. 


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