Silver ½-rupee coin from the Bombay Presidency, New Bombay, 1800-45
1/2 rupee coin from the Bombay Presidency, 1800-45
From a single trading post established at Surat in 1608, the rule of the British East India Company in India came to comprise 353 separate states organised into a government with its capital at what is now Mumbai, this massive province being known as the Bombay Presidency. This silver ½-rupee shows how the Company adapted to existing practices of weights and measures in its new territories, bearing as it does legends in Persian script that proclaim its issue in the 45th year of Shah Alam II (1759-1806), the last Mughal emperor, whom the Company displaced in that year. This design was immobilised there, and the coin in fact dates from an uncertain period thereafter, perhaps 1832-35.