Beautiful gold lion-fanam, Raja Sarabhaji I (1712-1728), Marathas of Tanjore (Thanjavur), India (type with a crude inscription)

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Lion (sometimes described as a mythical animal with a body of a lion and a head of a bird) walking right, tail raised, front paw raised / Crude, abbreviated and mis-spelled Nagari legend in two lines "Sri Sarabhaja". 6.5mm, 0.40 grams. Herrli #5.04.20.

The types with crude legends and in crude style are always found along with better-style coins and are certainly contemporary. They might have been minted at a provincial mint or struck with dies made by a less competent engraver.


Thanjavur Marathas of the Bhonsle dynasty, were the rulers of Thanjavur principality of Tamil Nadu between the 17th to the 19th century C.E. Their native language was Marathi. Venkoji, the younger brother of the famous Maratha leader Shivaji, was the founder of the dynasty.

Sarabhaji (also called Sarabhoji I or Serfoji I) (16751728), was the son of the Maratha ruler of Thanjavur Ekoji I and the Raja of Thanjavur from 1712 to 1728. He was the third Raja of the Bhonsle dynasty. He consolidated the hold of Marathas over Thanjavur and patronised arts and literature.