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The Coin Galleries: UJJAIN (page 4)
This page authored by Wilfried Pieper

The multi-symbol obverse designs of Ujjain's local copper coins document close affinities to those of the Mauryan silver karshapanas. As Allan rightly observed (BMC:cxiii): "They are struck on the same principle as the punch-marked coins; that is to say, on the obverse we have several symbols - often, as on the silver punch-marked coins, five, some of which change more frequently than others." This multi-symbol fashion with the single design elements having nearly the same size may help to date such coin types earlier than coin types with one large dominant design element which is accompanied by one or more small symbols.

Human and animal depictions on local Ujjain coins have been discussed and illustrated on the previous Ujjain pages. Inanimate, symbolic depictions most frequently occurring on Ujjain copper coins are the railed tree, chakra, six-armed symbol, svastika, taurine, Indradhvaja, srivatsa, river and fish-tank. A few other symbols like sun, wheel, tree-on-hill and railed lingam have to be added to this list but they are rarely seen. One is astonished to observe that the three-arched hill symbol, which occupied a prominent place among the symbols on Mauryan karshapanas, is used on only a few Ujjain types.

The dominant symbol here is of course the cross symbol with an orb attached at each end, the so-called Ujjain symbol. In a large form and as a single symbol it is used as the reverse mark of the local Ujjain coppers but as one among other symbols it also appears on many obverse types of this and many other ancient Indian coin series. The influence and the acceptance of Ujjain's coins has been so decisive that other authorities sometimes even marked their coins with the same reverse emblem as Ujjain itself - examples are some Erich types or certain types from Vidarbha. In that case a clear distinction is only possible by knowledge of findspots or a specific typology of the respective obverse design. Much has been speculated about origin and meaning of the Ujjain symbol. The most probable interpretation sees the symbol as symbolizing  an important cultural, political and economical center where crossroads from all cardinal points met and emenated.


UJJAIN, symbol series

ujjain379

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/2 karshapana, multi-symbol type
Weight: 4.22 gm., Diameter: 18 mm.
Centrally placed Ujjain symbol; svastika and Indradhvaja on right and
    railed tree on left; fish-tank above the Ujjain symbol and parts of
    chakra on top right; river at the bottom.
Double-orbed Ujjain symbol
Reference: Pieper 379 (plate specimen)

ujjain380

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/2 karshapana, multi-symbol type
Weight: 4.97 gm., Diameter: 16 mm.
As previous coin but the railing has nine compartments and the svastika
has been exchanged for a taurine symbol.
Reference: Pieper 380 (plate specimen)

ujjain381

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/2 karshapana, multi-symbol type
Weight: 4.64 gm., Diameter: 13 mm.
Railed tree in center; on the left shrivatsa above svastika; on the right
    chakra above fish-tank.
Double-orbed Ujjain symbol.
Reference: Pieper 381 (plate specimen)

ujjain382

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/8 karshapana, multi-symbol type
Weight: 1.32 gm., Diameter: 10x10 mm.
Obv.: Indradhvaja , three-arched hill, six-armed symbol, sun , svastika
 Rev.: Ujjain symbol with a dot inside each orb.
Reference: Pieper 382

ujjain383

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/8 karshapana, multi-symbol type
Weight: 1.30 gm., Diameter: 11x11 mm.
Railed tree on right; Ujjain symbol above horizontally placed Indradhvaja
    on left; taurine below and svastika above the Ujjain symbol.
Ujjain symbol with a dot inside each orb.
Reference: Pieper 383 (plate specimen)

ujjain384

Ujjain, anonymous AE 3/4 karshapana, multi-symbol type
Weight: 5.98 gm., Diameter: 17x15 mm.
Six-armed symbol in center; svastika and taurine above a railed tree on
    the left; Ujjain symbol above Indradhvaja on the right; river at the
    bottom; above the six-armed symbol is a square tank with two fishes
    and two turtles.
Ujjain symbol with a svastika in each orb.
Reference: Pieper 384 (plate specimen)

ujjain389

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/ 10 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 0.86 gm., Diameter: 10 mm.
Obv.: Railed tree with Ujjain symbol on right.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol.
Reference: Pieper 389 (plate specimen)

ujjain391

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/ 10 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 0.82 gm., Diameter: 8x7 mm.,
Obv.: Railed tree.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol
Reference: Pieper 391 (plate specimen)

ujjain392

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/ 10 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 0.82 gm., Diameter: 8x8 mm.
Obv:. Railed tree in square incuse.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol with a dot in each orb.
Reference: Pieper 392 (plate specimen)

ujjain394

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/ 10 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 0.91 gm., Diameter: 10x10 mm.
Obv.: Railed tree with Indradhvaja on right.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol.
Reference: Pieper 394 (plate specimen)

ujjain393

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/ 10 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 0.96 gm., Diameter: 10x7 mm.
Obv.: Tree in vase, dagger-like symbol on right.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol with thick dot in each orb and a dot in each angle.
Reference: Pieper 393 (plate specimen)

ujjain395

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/ 8 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 1.11 gm., Diameter: 10x8 mm.
Obv.: Railed tree with large crescent above; svastika above taurine on r.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol
Reference: Pieper 395 (plate specimen)

ujjain396

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/ 8 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 1.13 gm., Diameter: 9x8 mm.
Obv.: Railed tree with river on right; part of rectangular symbol on left;
          two taurines on top.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol.
Reference: Pieper 396 (plate specimen)

ujjain397

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/ 8 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 1.23 gm., Diameter: 11x11 mm.
Obv.: Railed tree above river line.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol.
Reference: Pieper 397 (plate specimen)

ujjain398

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/4 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 2.76 gm., Diameter: 12x11 mm.
Obv.: Railed tree in square incuse with taurine on left.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol with a thick dot in each orb.
Reference: Pieper 398 (plate specimen)

ujjain399

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/4 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 1.90 gm., Diameter: 14x12 mm.
Obv.: Tree-on-hill.
Rev.: Four Ujjain symbols.
Reference: Pieper 399 (plate specimen)

ujjain388

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/2 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 4.58 gm., Diameter: 14 mm.
Obv.: Railed tree.
Rev.: Double-orbed Ujjain symbol.
Reference: Pieper 388 (plate specimen)

ujjain400

Ujjain, anonymous AE 1/2 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 4.19 gm., Diameter: 15x14 mm.
Obv.: Tree-on-hill on right and six-armed symbol on left.
Rev.: Ujjain symbol with alternating taurines and svastikas in the orbs.
Reference: Pieper 400

ujjain401

Ujjain, anonymous lead 1/2 karshapana, tree type
Weight: 4.37 gm., Diameter: 16x16 mm.
Obv.: Railed tree on the right; on the left six-armed symbol above Indra-
     dhvaja; taurine left and svastika right of the Indradhvaja.
Rev.: Double-orbed Ujjain symbol with a taurine in each angle.
Reference: Pieper 401 (plate specimen)

ujjain409

Ujjain, inscribed AE 1/2 karshapana, 'tank between trees' type
Weight: 5.62 gm., Diameter: 14x14 mm.
Fishtank from which a water channel is branching flanked by two railed
     trees; Brahmi legend part below reading 'sidhatho(madana)'
Ujjain symbol
Reference: Pieper 409 (plate specimen)
Until now the legend on this coin type had been read as 'rathimadana'. This is the first specimen to show at least the first three letters of the legend clear beyond doubt. Credit goes to Harry Falk to have read the legend as 'sidhato'. The second part of the name appears to have been correctly identified from the available specimens except for the last letter which still is somewhat doubtful but '...madana' is well possible. In that case the complete name would be 'Sidhathomadana'.
Other Ujjain pages: page 1, page 2, and page 3
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