Not too long ago, the rajas, maharajas, and nawabs held sway over almost half of India. There were more than five hundred and fifty princely states. Some had vast territories under them, others were smaller; some were very powerful, others were not so powerful. Many of these princely states or native states, as they are also called, issued their own coinages. These, though relatively recent, are amongst the least researched and published coins in Indian numismatics. Books by W.W. Webb, Currencies of the Hindu States of Rajputana (1893), and B.N. Reu, Coins of Marwar (1946), on the coins of the princely states of Rajputana, home to some of the powerful and bigger states, have long been out of date.
The present work, providing a detailed and updated illustrated account of the coinage of Jodhpur state, is, therefore, a very welcome addition to the Indian numismatics. An introduction to the history and coinage of Marwar is followed by the catalogue of coins in 20 chapters. Attractively printed in colour, there are 454 illustrations and line drawings of coins and 48 coloured images of kings, princes, palaces, etc.
At the end, a very instructive chapter on the Mints in Jodhpur State from the Official Gazette of Jodhpur written in Vikram Samvat 1940 (1883-84) is reproduced with an English translation. The book, resulting from the author’s painstaking research of more than three decades and his vast expertise on the subject, will remain the most comprehensive work on the coinage of Jodhpur State for a long time to come.
A building engineer / architect by training and profession, Jan Lingen, the author of the book, is well-known to students of Indian numismatics for his well-researched and insightful papers especially on the coinages of Mughal India, Princely States, and the European trading companies in the East published in various journals, magazines and newsletters. His book (co-authored with Ken Wiggins) on Coins of the Sindhias (London, 1978) was also a pioneering work and was very well-received. Jan has been active in several numismatic societies and was the President of the Royal Dutch Numismatic Society from 1988 till 1994. Since 1994, he has also acted as the Oriental Numismatic Society’s Regional Secretary for continental Europe. In 1999, he was appointed honorary member of the Royal Dutch Numismatic Society and for his services to the Society was awarded the royal honour of the Order of Orange-Nassau in 2002.