Rare gold Kali scyphate fanam minted from South-Eastern India, Dutch VOC or local issue, 17th-18th century, India (Herrli #3.07 var)

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Degenerate Kali with the Tanjore rosette on the breast, a number of annulets, lines and dots around / Blank. 7mm, 0.35 grams. Tuticorin or another minor mint in the area. Herrli #3.07 var.

The Dutch VOC company received the right to strike fanams in Tuticorin from Tanjore. These coins with a blank reverse and crude obverse are based on the design of the Dutch Tuticorin issue fanams, but have a blank reverse and are struck on a scyphate flan. I do not think they were intended to have a blank reverse, as many of these coins show traces of "Rangarau" inscription on the reverse - I think because of the scyphate shape of the coins, the reverse die wore out very quickly, and continued to be used for a long time after it broke completely. They are always found with a mix of Madras British issue fanams and Tuticorin Dutch issue fanams - it is likely that these coins are either Dutch issue fanams struck at a minor town (not in Tuticorin), or local Indian imitations of the Tuticorin fanams struck by a local ruler somewhere in the area of Tanjore/Madras/Tuticorin in the South-Eastern India. The coins are slightly debased, the purity of these coins seems to range from about 14 karats to 18 karats.