ParakramaBahu VI : 1415-1468

One massa

A scarce "lion" type copper massa coin of king ParakramaBahu VI who reigned for fifty-two years from Kotte. The coins with the Sinhala Lion was were probably stuck at the capital Nallur after his conquest of Jaffna.

SPECIFICATIONS
Denominationmassa
AlloyCopper
TypeStruck
Diameter20.32 mm
Thickness mm
Weight4.17 gms
ShapeRound
EdgePlain
DieAxis
1450_parakramabahu~vi_obverse 1450_parakramabahu~vi_reverse
Codrington #97Mitchiner #853-855
Obverse : Similer to Lankan massa design of standing king.
The head consists of an oblong, from the chord of which project three lines; crown or makuta, two arcs and a dot in rear. right elbow more pronounced; in right hand a lamp consisting of a straight line ending in a ball and flanked on eitherside by two dots. In left hand a small ball. Feet turned outward. Two dots, one under each arm, represents the upper part of the dhoti. To right a lion seated and facing right with left foreleg uplifted; each paw has three claws. A rim is a circle of large dots.
Reverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king.
Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a small ball. On right Devanagari legend Sri Pa ra kra ma Ba hu
parakramabahu~vi_legend
ParakramaBahu VI (1412-1468) is said to have been the son of VijayaBahu VI, and his queen SunetraDevi of the Kalinga race. His mother and her two sons escaped when VijayaBahu was carried off in 1411 by the Chinese ambassador Ching Ho. He came to the throne in 1412 in Rayigampura and was inaugurated after a move to Kotte in 1415. A principal event in his reign was the conquest by his son, (actual or adopted) SapumalKumaraya, of Jaffna in Northern Lanka, which had become an independent state after the invasion by Arya Chakravarti a minister of Pandayan king Kulasekhara (A.D. 1268-1308).

This coin is scarce unlike the six fairly common copper massa coins from the late Polonnaruwa and Dambadeniya era.

Text edited from
* "Short history of Ceylon: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1929.
* Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.
   Chapter VI Mediaeval Lanka - The ``Lion'' Type, Page 78

The coin was scanned at 300dpi and displayed at 300dpi. It was obtained in December 1999 from Rajah Wickremesinhe an Author and collector in Colombo, Lanka, who also pointed out my error of adopting the attribution in Mitchiner of this coin to ParakramaBahu III (1302-1310)