Moroccan copper fals, 1664-1894
Moroccan copper fals, 1664-1858
Since 1666 Morocco has been ruled by the ´Alawi Sharifs, a family of Islamic rulers who claim descent from Muhammad's daughter Fatima. The dynasty takes its name from its supposed founder, Moulay cAli Sharif (Sultan of Tafilalt, 1631-64). Moulay al-Rashid, his son, was able to unite the province that became Morocco under his rule and the family has ruled from Marrakesh or Fez ever since. Until the advent of mechanical striking, the coinage of this kingdom was cast copper falus of varying sizes, usually carrying a six-pointed star. The survivors are often very worn, and their chronology has not yet been properly established, so that this piece could have been minted anywhere between 1664 and shortly before Perry acquired it, before his death in 1858.