Standing Bull - Copper massa

Vira Bahu II 1391 - 1397 ?

Anonymous Chola style copper massa with humped standing Bull from the period of South Indian Tamil occupation of nothern Lanka by Magha (A.D. 1215-1236) until Jaffna was taken in 1284 by Pandyan Arya Chakravartis. The Sinhala kingdom had escaped to Dambadeniya during this period.

SPECIFICATIONS
DenominationOne massa
AlloyCopper
TypeStruck
Diameter16.3 mm
Thickness2.7 mm
Weight3.6 gms
ShapeRound
DieAxis
vira_bahu_1_obverse vira_bahu_1_reverse
Mitchiner #856
DenominationOne massa
AlloyCopper
Diameter14.5 mm
Thickness3.3 mm
Weight3.4 gms
ShapeRound
DieAxis
vira_bahu_2_obverse vira_bahu_2_reverse
Mitchiner #858
Obverse : Humped bull standing right; torch in front and crescent above.
Reverse : Standing king with torch on left and group of spheres on right.

Coins of this type are found in Lanka, as distint from related late Chola bull issues of slightly dumpier fabric with differences in ancillary symbolism current in South India.

Text edited from
* Oriental Coins: Michael Mitchiner, London, Hawkins Publications, 1978.

The massa coin was scanned at 600dpi and displayed at 400dpi.
These two coins were purchased on ebay in 1999 November from Manuel Rajesh in Madras, India. As such they were probably not found in Lanka. However the size, weight and design match very closely the coins illustrated in Mitchiner with which they have been identified. These two coins with a greenish tone were selected from the auction lot of four coins. The other two had a brownish tone, were 10% lighter but about the same diameter and thickness with designs that didn't match any of the three illustrated in Mitchiner 856-858.