CRUSADERS. Crusader Imitations of Islamic Dirhams. Dirham (Silver, 20 mm, 2.47 g, 9 h), imitating an Ayyubid dirham from Damascus, but with crosses and Archangel Michael for Muhammad, circa AH 643 = AD 1245/6. 'Al-Malik al-Salih / Imad al-Dunya wa'l Din / Isma'il ibn Abi Bakr' within double square; in outer margin, mint and date and with a cross intersecting the legend in upper part of the margin between 'in the name of' and 'God'; all in Arabic. Rev. 'Al-Imam / al-Mustansir / billah Abu Ja'far / al-Mansur Amir al-Mu'minin' within double square; in outer margin, 'la ilah / illa Allah / Mikha'il / rasul Allah' ('There is no god but God, Michael is the Messenger of God'); cross intersecting the word 'Michael' in lower part of the margin; all in Arabic. Bates & Metcalf 51. Malloy 6. Metcalf, Crusades, -. Wäckerlin 223. Extemely rare. A bright and attractive example of this very interesting issue. Extremely fine.
From the Tabib Collection, formed over the past 40 years.
This is the rarest and arguably the most interesting of all Crusader imitations of Islamic Dirhams, as it replaces the name of the prophet Muhammad with that of the Archangel Michael. However, the objections of Odo of Chateauroux, Cardinal-Bishop of Tusculum (1244-1273) and Papal legate on the Seventh Crusade to the striking of coins with Islamic inscriptions and datings would eventually lead to their replacement with Christianized types (see below, lots 602-6).