The “golden age” of the Ottoman Empire was led by Sultan Suley Man “The Magnifecent,” who struck this gold coin. He was the longest reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and he was revered as an historic lawmaker. In Turkey Suley Man is known as “Kanuni,” or ‘Lawgiver,’ which was derived from his legacy of law reforms made during his 46 year reign. His military, educational and legal reforms made for a high point in the history of the Ottoman Empire. During his time Suley Man reigned over an empire that stretched from Turkey, into Europe and North Africa.
Under the guidance of Suley Man, the empire also reached was is now termed “The Golden Age” of Ottoman architecture and art. The architecture from the famous court architect, Mimar Sinan, who is credited with over 300 major buildings, including the Suley Man Mosque in Istanbul, are some of the most impressive buildings. Court artists created prolific works of art ranging in forms from gold, ivory, stone, various wood, fine fabrics, illuminated manuscripts and illustrated books. In fact, this gold coin is an example of the fine “high art” of the period that is struck into pure gold with the Sultan’s name. it reads:
“Sultan Suley Man Shah, son of Selim Shah,” and the reverse reads, “Striker of the glittering gold master of might, victory over land and sea.” The words of the coin are written in “Thuluth,” which is a calligraphic form of Arabic.