ISLAMIC, Anatolia & al-Jazira (Post-Seljuk). Artuqids (Mardin). Qutb al-Din Il-Ghazi II, AH 572-580 / AD 1176-1184. Dirham (Bronze, 33 mm, 16.73 g, 9 h), uncertain mint (Mardin?), 579 AH = 1183/4 AD. Two Byzantine style busts, draped and wearing headwear, the larger bust with dishevelled hair, the smaller bust with a close-fitting hat; above, AH date in Kufic. Rev. Legend in Kufic bearing the name of the Abassid caliph al-Nasir li'l-Din, the Comander of the Faithful; the genealogy of Qutb al-Din Il-Ghazi II naming his father, Najm al-Din, and his grandfather, Husam al-Din, only by their laqabs; and a curse condemning every person, who abuses this dirham. Album 1828.2. Spengler & Sayles 32. Whelan Type I, 46-47. A very well centered and unusually attractive example. Good very fine.
The obverse is probably a depiction of an astrological event which took place in 576 AH = 1180/1 AD, when the planet Mercury passed the face of the Sun. If this interpretation is correct, the larger bust, with disheveled hair resembling flames, represents the sun, whereas the smaller bust is an image of the planet Mercury.