Egypt AH 1203 1/2 zeri mahbub KM-151

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Steve Album sale 30, lot 450
Egypt SA30-450r.jpg

This specimen was lot 450 in Stephen Album sale 30 (Santa Rosa, CA, January 2018), where it sold for $1,057.50. The catalog description[2] noted, "EGYPT: Napoleonic Occupation, 1798-1801, AR ½ zeri mahbub, Misr, AH1203 (frozen), in the name of the Ottoman sultan Selim III, with the Arabic initial "B" instead of regnal year, flan crack from production, EF-AU, RR. The initial "B" is believed to stand for either Napoleon Bonaparte or for the appointed engraver at the Cairo mint, Denis Samuel Bernard." Tho dated AH 1203, this coin was certainly not made then, as the French did not arrive until 1798, the date we are assigning to it. Napoleon landed in Egypt and had little difficulty in defeating the local Egyptian forces but found himself stranded when admiral Nelson destroyed his navy. He returned to France on a small craft, abandoning his army, and blamed others for the disaster.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specifications: 1.29 g, .685 fine gold, 19 mm diameter, this specimen 1.28 g.

Catalog reference: KM-151, Fr-55.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Valentine, W.H., Modern Copper Coins of the Muhammadan States, London: Spink and Sons, 1911.
  • [1]Uslu, Kaan, Beyazit, M. Fatih, and Kara, Tuncay. Ottoman Empire Coins, Istanbul: Mas Matbaacilik A.S., 2007.
  • [2]Album, Stephen, Joseph Lang, Paul Montz, Michael Barry and Norman Douglas Nicol, Auction 30, featuring the George Anderson Collection of Tibetan Coins, the Dr. John W. Lund Collection of Swedish Coins and the Mike Edwards Collection, Santa Rosa, CA: Stephen Album Rare Coins, Inc., 2018.

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