1640 - Portuguese Ceilão

Silver - Tanga - C Lº

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 1640 during the reign of D. Filippe III (1621-1640).

Diameter15.5 mm
Thickness_._ mm
Weight legal2.19 gms
Weight2.24 gms
tanga_1640_CL_obverse tanga_1640_CL_reverse
Codrington PL 106 ; Gomes F3:16.01 ; KM #9.2
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.

Gomes gives a weight range of 2.16-3.2 grams for this series.
The mint mark C Lº is attributed by Codrington to Ceilão or Colombo. The Portuguese fort at Colombo was the Fortress of São Lourenço. The emblem of Saint Laurence is the gridiron with the flames below on which he was martyr in 258 AD.
In Krause the flames are described as a Crown.

Codrington (VIII-21:I,p.99) lists it among silver coins struck in or for Ceylon as the first series struck in 1640 of the Gridiron type. He says The workmanship resembles that of the Goa mint, and these coins very probably may have been struck there for the use in the island or possibly locally with dies sent from the capital.

In Grogan section on Ceylon the Tanga is illustrated with
(1318) -- 17 mm and 2.60 grams
(1319) -- 16.5/16 mm. 2.39 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.