1658 - 1600 - Dutch Ceilon

Jaffna R CounterMark - Silver double Tanga

The Jaffna R Countermark on the Indo-Portuguese double Tanga of 1652 with Coat of arms of Portugal and and São João struck in Goa, authorized it to continue circulation after 1658 as a silver larin in Dutch Ceilon

DenominationTwo Tanga
Diameter20. mm
Thickness_._ mm
Weight legal4.38 gms
Weight3.95 gms
2_tanga_1652R_obverse 2_tanga_1652R_reverse
Codrington PL 121 ; Mitchiner 2149 ; KM unlisted
Obverse : Crowned Coat of arms of Portugal divides [GA (Goa) within line-dotted-line circles
Reverse : Standing figure facing right with flag divides [Si (São João) and year [I6S2 within line-dotted-line circles. Countermark R to upper left.

The Countermark R is found either single or in combination with the Countermark VOC/I only on silver double Tangas. This led to the conclusion that this Countermark has been applied at Jaffna for a particular denomination.

Jan Lingen suggested in an article in a Dutch numismatic journal (De Beeldenaar Sept./Oct. 1996-200) that the R probably was applied on the coins to demonetize them and make them equal to the silver larin (Ridi). He suggests that the countermark has been applied at Jaffna during the period that, after its capture by the Dutch (City fell in 1658 March 9th, followed by the garrison on 1658 June 23rd), it was under the jurisdiction of the VOC-administration of the Coromandal Coast at Pulicat. When Jaffna came under the Colombo administration (1659 February) the countermarking with R ceased and according to the regulation prevailing, the double tangas in circulation were tested and countermarked with the mark of the Company (VOC/I). That is why you find the R countermark alone or in combination with the VOC/I.

By placard of 1660 October 23rd No silver or copper coins, were allowed in circulate after 1660 November 8th except those marked by the Company.

Codrington illustrates in PL-121 a coin of this same type with the R monogram.
Illustrated in Mitchiner
(2166) 16xx -- with Countermarks VOC/I of Jaffna on obverse and R on reverse.
(2168) 1652 -- Goa G A São João type double Tanga,
(2169) 1656 -- Diu Å D São João type double Tanga,
(2170) 16xx -- Goa G A São João type double Tanga with Countermark R on reverse.

Text from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
  Chapter VIII Portuguese - Plate xxx. Page xxx
* The Coins of the Dutch Overseas Territories- 1601-1948
  C. Scholten, 1953, Amsterdam: Jacques Schulman. page xxx-xxx
* Moedas Portuguesas 1128-1988, by Alberto Gomes. Lisbon 1987
* Collection Henry Thomas Grogan, J. Schulman, Auction 23-02-1914.
* Non-Islamic and Western Colonies since 600 AD by by Michael Mitchiner.

I thank Jan Lingen who kindly sent me the 300 dpi scans of these rare coin from his collection and are displayed at xxx dpi.