Portuguese sailing ship right with one central boss, cross on the prow / Portuguese coat of arms. 19mm, 1.97 grams. Malacca (Melaka) mint (in modern Malaysia - Melaka was administered by the Portuguese as a part of Potuguese India). Saran Singh #S.19; Grogan #16; Vaz. Se.22.
Rare this nice!
The meaning of the letters B and A on obverse are not known. It is speculated that they might be standing for "bazarucco" or "bastardo" (it does not make much sense to me, though). The Portuguese were the first to arrive in India in 1498. The closing of traditional trade routes in western Asia by the Ottomans and rivalry with the Italian states, set Portugal in search of an alternate sea route to India. The first successful voyage to India was by Vasco da Gama in 1498, when he arrived in Calicut, Kerala. He proceeded to Goa. The Portuguese captured the entire coastal territory along India's western and eastern coasts as well as the island of Sri Lanka in the early 16th century. Portugal had established trading outposts in Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli along India's west coast. However Goa was their prized possession and their capital of the eastern hemisphere.