Ali Rajabli's speech on historical Azerbaijani coins

Ali Rajabli's speech on  historical Azerbaijani coins

Being an Azerbaijani numismatist, I am pleased that Azerbaijani coins are researched by numismatists from different countries, and our counterpart A.Akopyan dedicated himself to studying the coinage of the Azerbaijani khanates of eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, thanks to him very much for it.

Taking the opportunity, I would like to express my thoughts regarding some peculiarities of the coinage issues of these khanates, and I suppose it will be interesting to numismatists of the countries which underwent monetary particularism.

What was the essence of Azerbaijani khanates of eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as political and economic structures?

As correctly noted by reporter, after the death of Nadir Shah Afshar (1736-1747), disorders started to appear during the reign of his incompetent successors. Feudal strives had benefited the khans (derives from the ancient Turkic title of “khan”) -the rulers of certain vilayats, who declared themselves independent, and according to A. Bakikhanov the patriarch of Azerbaijani historiography “… became independent monarchs”. About twenty khanates were established on the territories of historic Azerbaijan, and ten of them were on the territories of North Azerbaijan (modern Republic of Azerbaijan).

Khanates were small copies of shahdom: they had all features of independent monarchs and were striking coins. However these coins were struck anonymously due to the limited legitimacy of the rulers. Coins were made of silver, copper (of course they were not eligible to strike golden coppers), coins were stamped in large towns like Derbend, Guba, Shaki, Baku, Shamakhy, Ganja, Panahabad, Nakhcivan, Irevan. No information was found regarding the coins of Talish khanate, and Baku and Irevan khanates left only copper coins.

Abbasi was a main currency with nominal value of 200 copper dinars, its fractions and other versions were also stamped. Should be noted that the coinage of the largest and powerful Karabagh khanate, where in accordance with monetary reforms of Ibrahim Khalil khan “panabadi” (derives from the name of town of Panahabad, founded by Panakhali khan in 1757) heavy silver coins weighing 5,4 gr and with nominal value of 500 copper dinars were stamped.

History of Azerbaijani monetary circulation accounts more than 2000 years, yet numismatic science of Azerbaijan is relatively young. Its foundation was laid by the known numismatist and collector Alexander Pakhomov in the 20-s of the previous century, who made a great contribution to the development of Azerbaijani numismatics.

Azerbaijani people have got a rich numismatic heritage, and of course we are thankful to all who refers to our numismatics. Particularly I would like to note the deeds of Russian numismatists like V. Lukonina, Y. Zeymal, K.Golenko and others living today like V.Lebed, G.Zlobin, P.Petrov who laid the foundation of the oriental numismatics

Taking the opportunity that our conference approaches to end, I would like sincerely thank our counterparts the organizers of this great forum, employees of the department of Numismatics of State Hermitage and its head V. Kalinin and all the managing board of the State Hermitage and its head respected M.B. Piotrovsky.

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