Name of Object:

Dirham

Location:

Rabat, Morocco

Holding Museum:

Numismatic Museum of the al-Maghreb Bank

About Numismatic Museum of the al-Maghreb Bank, Rabat

Date of Object:

Hegira 202 / AD 818

Museum Inventory Number:

991

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cast and struck silver.

Dimensions:

Diameter 22 mm, weight 2.2 g

Period / Dynasty

Idrisid

Workshop / Movement:

Workshop, Watit, Morocco.

Provenance:

Morocco.

Description:

This silver dirham, issued under the reign of Idris II, ruler of the country from AH 188 to AH 213 (AD 803–28), is a prototype of Idrisid coinage struck using models of Abbasid coins with the name 'Ali' (Ibn Abi Talib), son-in-law of the Prophet and ancestor of the Idrisids, added to the name of the reigning prince. This round coin is marked exclusively with archaic kufic script in the centre and around the rim. The profession of faith is proclaimed and the name of Ali is added in the centre of the obverse side, which is surrounded by two circles the second of which is decorated on the outside with five double rings. On the edge, an inscription reads 'There is no god but Allah alone, who has no equal, Ali', which is surrounded by another inscription stating, after the bismala (consecration formula), the location of the workshop and the date of issue: 'In the name of God, this dirham was issued at Watit, in the year 202' (AD 818).
On the reverse, in the centre, the name of the reigning prince 'Idris' (for Idris II) appears, as does the prophetic mission 'Mohammad God's prophet' again with the name of Ali. The ninth verse from the Qur'an Sura 61, Assaf (The ranks), appears on the rim between two circles, in beautiful kufic script: 'He it is who sent His Apostle with guidance and the religion of truth to set it above all religion; averse although the idolaters may be'.

View Short Description

This silver dirham is the prototype for Idrisid coins. It was minted using an Abbasid model with the name 'Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet and ancestor of the Idrisids, added to that of the reigning prince.

Original Owner:

J.D. Brèthes

How date and origin were established:

The date is shown in the circular part of the obverse of the coin.

How Object was obtained:

This coin was bought along with the entire Brèthes collection. An enlightened numismatist, Brèthes lived in Morocco in the first half of the 20th century, and built up an important collection of coins found in Morocco from periods throughout its history, from Antiquity to 1940.

How provenance was established:

The place of minting is shown on the coin.

Selected bibliography:

Brèthes, J. D., Contribution à l'histoire du Maroc par les recherches numismatiques, Casablanca, 1939.
Eustache, D., Corpus des dirhams idrissides et contemporains, collection de la Banque du Maroc, Rabat, 1970–1.
Eustache, D., “Les ateliers monétaires au Maroc”, Hespéris, 1970, pp.95–102.

Citation of this web page:

Naima El Khatib-Boujibar "Dirham" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;ma;Mus01_F;2;en

Prepared by: Naima El Khatib-BoujibarNaima El Khatib-Boujibar

Archéologue et historienne de l'art, titulaire d'une licence en lettres (française), N. Elkhatib-Boujibar a également étudié l'archéologie et l'histoire de l'art à l'Institut d'art et d'archéologie de Paris, l'art islamique et la muséologie à l'École du Louvre (Paris), et suivi des cours à l'Institut d'ethnographie de l'Université de Neuchâtel (Suisse). Elle a occupé plusieurs postes de responsabilité, parmi lesquels directrice des Musées et de l'Archéologie, inspectrice générale des Musées et de l'Archéologie, déléguée régionale du ministère de la Culture.
Elle a dirigé un chantier de fouille durant 20 ans et enseigné à l'Institut national marocain des sciences de l'archéologie et du patrimoine (INSAP). Elle a organisé différentes expositions sur le patrimoine marocain, au Maroc comme à l'étranger, et animé des cycles de conférence, dont celui sur l'art islamique à la “Villa des Arts” à Casablanca.
N. El Khatib-Boujibar a publié différents articles sur le patrimoine archéologique, artistique et architectural marocain, mais aussi sur d'autres sites islamiques et sur les arts mobiliers. Elle a également participé à la rédaction du catalogue Musée Sans Frontières Le Maroc andalou, à la rencontre d'un art de vivre.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: MO 03

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