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HOME : Jewelry and Seals : Coin and Seal Cufflinks : Two Gold Mamluk Coins
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Two Gold Mamluk Coins - FJ.5699
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 1300 AD to 1500 AD

Collection: Islamic Gold Coin Cufflinks
Medium: Gold

Location: United States
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The history of the Mamluk rule in Egypt begins in the mid-13th century. Es-Salih, the ruler of Egypt, purchased a large number of Mamluks (a term meaning "owned" that refers to slaves) for his army. When the inhabitants of Cairo complained about their lawlessness he built barracks for the slaves on an island in the Nile, and they became known as Bahri (of the river) Mamluks. At the same time, Es- Salih married a very capable Turkish slave concubine named Shejer-ed-durr (tree of pearls), making her his queen. When Es-Salih died in 1249 A.D., St. Louis was in occupation of Damietta and Egypt was in a precarious position. Shejered-durr, concealed the death of her husband and became the "power behind the throne". Soon, however, she married a Mamluk, thereby raising a slave to the throne, but Shejer-ed-durr remained in power through this first period of Mamluk rule. Mamluk spread from Egypt to Syria and the Bahri Mamluks ruled their empire from 1250-1382. Following this the Burji Mamluks ruled from 1382-1516, at which time the Ottoman Selim conquered Egypt, thereby ending the Mamluk reign of power. These radiant gold coins were minted during the period of Mamluk reign, continuing the Islamic tradition of depicting artistic, calligraphic inscriptions on each coin. Since the world itself is sacred in the Islamic religion, it is only fitting that the inscriptions on these Mamluk coins achieve an aesthetic level of beauty unsurpassed in the history of the written word. - (FJ.5699)


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