The reign of Buddhagupta is very important in the history of Gupta coinage because it is the rediscovery of the pride and prestige of the Gupta coinage after the dark ages it went through. However, there are several instances of paramount sovereigns using the title Maharaja, in both pre-Gupta and post-Gupta periods, so this cannot be said with certainty. The financial crunch led Kumaragupta to issue silver-plated copper coins Daler. Samudragupta appears to have been , as attested by his Eran inscription, and performed several ceremonies. Ashvamedha horse sacrifice type Samudragupta, gold dinar, c. The empire eventually died out because of many factors such as substantial loss of territory and imperial authority caused by their own erstwhile feudatories, as well as the invasion by the and from. On the reverse, goddess Durga is seated on a lion holding a cornucopia in her left hand and a lotus in the right hand.
On the tiger type, the king is shown trampling on a tiger which orients backwards as King shoots with a bow. The coins are classified into 4 groups:- Gupta gold coins Gupta silver coins Gupta copper coins Gupta lead coins The Gupta emperor chiefly issued gold coins. His gold coins are considered some of the finest examples of Indian numismatic art. Kumaragupta I, who issued as many as sixteen types of gold coins, is represented by Archer Hughli , Horseman Midnapore and Hughli , Elephant-rider Hughli , Lion-slayer Bogra, Hughli and Burdwan and Karttikeya Burdwan types in Bengal. Ajanta contains by far the most significant survivals of painting from this and the surrounding periods, showing a mature form which had probably had a long development, mainly in painting palaces. The Bayana hoard of coins accidentally discovered so long ago as in 1946 by cowherds in a field in the village of Hullanpur near the town of Bayana in the former Bharatpur State, is almost a landmark in the history of Gupta coinage, as it contains a large number of unique issues in addition to varieties already known. These features were more or less similar throughout the rule of different Gupta emperors.
They assumed the character of a medium of exchange and got a standard by which the value of other things was estimated. Gupta military success likely stemmed from the concerted use of elephants, armored cavalry, steel bow and foot archers in tandem against both Hindu kingdoms and foreign armies invading from the Northwest. A peacock that is the vehicle of the god Kartikeya of whom Kumaragupta was a devotee was shown. On the other hand, Raven has challenged this explanation, pointing out that the king is wearing jewelry. The goddess, therefore, must be Saraswati as she is the muse for music in Indian Mythology.
Obv: Bust of king with crescents, with traces of corrupt Greek script. Unfortunately the deities on Gupta coins do not have inscriptions identifying them, so the descriptions are formed through informed research, comparing the images with earlier Kushan representations which are labelled and later Hindu art, where images are better understood. In the later period, the title Maharaja was used by feudatory rulers, which has led to suggestions that Gupta and Ghatotkacha were vassals possibly of. His coinage itself is enough to speak about the vastness of his empire. However, we have no record of any such king, and the epithet Sarvarājochchhetta was in fact applied to Samudragupta in some inscriptions.
We give below a bare outline of the Gupta history and chronology, as we understand it, as background of our Catalogue. Brahmi legend in the left field reads, Shri Jaya. The artists depicted the ruler in various poses. Silver Coins Mainly 3 types; Garuda, Bull and Archer type. The earliest issue bears the image of king Chandragupta-I with his queen Kumaradevi of Lichchavi family. Famous for their gold coins, the Gupta numismatic art has an abundance of coins in the variety of designs. A Vishayapati administered the Vishaya with the help of the Adhikarana council of representatives , which comprised four representatives: Nagarasreshesthi, Sarthavaha, Prathamakulike and Prathama Kayastha.
Thus emerged the notion of the unit of value. As an example can be given a magnificent Sassanian coins series which forms the Parrukh collection, that was specially studied and classified by the original owner of the series, from whom this was acquired by the National Museum, along with a detailed manuscript of an almost completed catalogue, with only the scholarly introduction to be added, which was made available with the original coins as more than a classified list. The gold coins of the Gupta rulers are the extraordinary examples of artistic excellence. Rev: Nimbate Goddess seated on a high-backed throne, holding cornucopia in one hand and diadem in the other; Brahmi legend Parakramah in the right field and Tamgha to the left. It is known that from Chinese sources that the Simhala king sent rich presents to the Gupta king requesting his permission to build a Buddhist monastery at : Samudragupta's pangyerist appears to have described this act of diplomacy as an act of subservience. It also showed their immense power and wealth.
It is indeed so, both literally and figuratively. The reverse shows a seated Lakshmi. This type is also unique to Kumaragupta. A similar coin was sold at a hammer price of Rs. We are soon uploading a blog on Gupta Numismatic art. From the collection of The British Museum Coin 2.
As an example can be given a magnificent Sassanian coins series which forms the Parrukh collection, that was specially studied and classified by the original owner of the series, from whom this was acquired by the National Museum, along with a detailed manuscript of an almost completed catalogue, with only the scholarly introduction to be added, which was made available with the original coins as more than a classified list. The reverse shows a female probably the chief queen standing in front of an ornamental spear suchi with a flywhisk over her right shoulder and the legend shvamedhaparakramah. The legend reads, kacha after conquering the earth, conquers heaven by means of good deeds. More likely, internal dissolution sapped the ability of the Guptas to resist foreign invasion, as was simultaneously occurring in Western Europe and China. So it is God manifest in many different ways. The 6th symbol shows the same figure of Lord Shiva standing to left but without Nandi Bull. No copper issues of the Guptas have been reported from Bengal.
As well as a belief in reincarnation, karma and the caste system, Hinduism saw the old Vedic gods merge with an array of popular and native gods. Gradually, this pattern was changed, and Lakshmi, an Indian goddess with a lotus in her hand is depicted on the coin. The present coin shows the three human figures who can be identified, from left to right, Lakshman, Rama and Sita. Also the Greek letters from the obverse and the garuda from the reverse are omitted. The Gupta coinage started with a remarkable series in gold issued by Chandragupta I, the third ruler of the dynasty, who issued a single type- the king and queen - depicting the portraits of Chandragupta and his queen Kumaradevi with their names on the obverse and the goddess seated on a lion with the legend Lichchhavyah on the reverse.
Kumaragupta I, gold dinar, c. The horseman and elephant type of coins reveal the love for riding and the lyrist type shows us the musical side of Samudragupta. The reverse is usual Kushan Goddess, a seated Lakshmi but not on the usual Kushan throne, but on lotus Padma. The National Museum cannot be sufficiently grateful to the Maharaja of Bharatpur for this invaluable gift of rare coins of the Bayana hoard. The Horseman type coins depict the king riding a caparisoned horse with weapons like a bow and a sword on the obverse and a goddess sitting on a wicker stool, sometimes feeding grapes to a peacock, on the reverse side.