1655 - 1660 - Dutch Ceilon

Galle CounterMark - Silver Tanga

The Galle City Countermark on the silver Tanga of 1640 with Coat of arms of Portugal and Gridiron of Saint Laurence dividing C Lº (Ceilão) authorized it to continue circulation after 1655 as 5 stuivers in Dutch Ceilon.

Diameter16. mm
Thickness_._ mm
Weight legal2.19 gms
Weight2.35 gms
tanga_1640_CL+_obverse tanga_1640_CL+_reverse
Codrington PL 118 ; Scholten 1271 ; KM #54
Obverse : Crowned Coat of arms of Portugal divides C Lº (Ceilão) within line-dotted-line circles
Reverse : Gridiron of Saint Laurence divides year I6 40 and flames below within line-dotted-line circles.
Countermark GALL (Galle) upside down in center over Gridiron.

Codrington illustrates in PL-118 the GALL monogram on a coin of this same type.

In accordance to a resolution of the Galle Council dated 1655 April 19th, Indo-Portuguese coins current at rate of 10, 6, and 5 stuivers were countermarked with a round stamp representing a monogram composed of letters GALL after they were tested by competent goldsmiths and declared genuine. A large number of counterfeits were in circulation at the time. Codrington (IX:5,p.109) states the tanga was 5 Stuivers and the 6 Stuivers seems to be the heavier Malacca Type.

Gampola Hoard No 3.29 -- 3.20 grams.
Illustrated in Scholten (1271) which list it as extremely rare (RRR).

In Grogan section on Ceylon the Tanga is Illustrated with a VOC/C countermarked (1320) -- 16 mm and 2.38 grams.

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.