1631 - Portuguese Ceilão

Silver - Tanga -S L

The silver Tanga with Coat of arms of Portugal and Gridiron of Saint Laurence struck in Colombo, fort São Lourenço for circulation in Ceilão, with date of [16]3i during the reign of D. Filippe III (1621-1640).

Diameter17. mm
Thickness_._ mm
Weight legal2.44 gms
Weight2.40 gms
F3_13.01_obverse F3_13.01_reverse
Codrington PL 114 ; Gomes F3:13.01 ; KM #9.1
Obverse : Crowned Coat of arms of Portugal between 3 to left and i to right ([16]3i) within line-dotted-line circles
Reverse : Gridiron of Saint Laurence divides S L (São Lourenço) and flames below within dotted-line-dotted circles. On line circle 4 dots crosswise on top-right-bottom-left.

The Portuguese used to write i for 1, indicating year [16]31, which makes it the first coin with a date issued specifically for Lanka, and succeeded the undated gridiron issues.

The Portuguese fort at Colombo was the Fortress of São Lourenço.
An account of the martyrdom Saint Laurence in 258 AD of being roasted alive on a gridiron has made his emblem in art a gridiron with the flames below the grill.
In Krause the flames are incorrectly described as a Crown.

Codrington (VIII-22:d,p.100) lists it among silver coins of rough execution with crowned Coat of arms and the Gridiron. In (VIII-23,p.102) he assigns it to Captain General Constantino De Sa.

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.