“Yeah Baby!, Shall we shag now or shag later?” Austin Powers’ favourite book, the Kama Sutra comes to coins.

As we always say, it’s good to see new designs and topics covered in the world of numismatics and it isn’t often you see a Kama Sutra coin hit the market. Mint 21 has brought their visual style to this ancient guide to a fulfilling life and produced an attractive 3 oz silver coin called Kama Sutra: Moments of Love. Pretty much everyone has heard of this circa-2,000 year old work,

The designer has dipped into the culture and style of the region with a background field replete with colourful floral patterns, The main focus of the coin, however, is undoubtedly the couple enjoying a passionate kiss. This is free of colour and is antique finished like the rest of the coin. It displays a good grasp of anatomy, although keeping a semi-formal style as you would expect to find on a tapestry or piece of wall art, for example.

The obverse is a close up face-to-face portrait of the pair, with an intricate pattern between the two. A border surrounds the artwork which contains the issue details (denomination, issuer, date) and all is antique finished. The coin is thick and rimless, with the design going right to the edge.

We like anything that features a new subject on coins as we get to see a lot of variations on a theme, usually, and this one certainly fits the bill. It’s visually striking, well realised, and quite unique. Available to order now and priced around €300, this high-relief coin is boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. It should ship in late April and is distributed by Top World Coins.

THE KAMA SUTRA

The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text on sexuality, eroticism and emotional fulfillment in life. Attributed to Vātsyāyana, the Kama Sutra is neither exclusively nor predominantly a sex manual on sex positions, but written as a guide to the “art-of-living” well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, maintaining one’s love life, and other aspects pertaining to pleasure-oriented faculties of human life.

Kamasutra is the oldest surviving Hindu text on erotic love. It is a sutra-genre text with terse aphoristic verses that have survived into the modern era with different bhasya (exposition and commentaries). The text is a mix of prose and anustubh-meter poetry verses. The text acknowledges the Hindu concept of Purusharthas, and lists desire, sexuality, and emotional fulfillment as one of the proper goals of life. Its chapters discuss methods for courtship, training in the arts to be socially engaging, finding a partner, flirting, maintaining power in a married life, when and how to commit adultery, sexual positions, and other topics. The majority of the book is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, and how and when it is good or bad.

The text is one of many Indian texts on Kama Shastra. It is a much-translated work in Indian and non-Indian languages. The Kamasutra has influenced many secondary texts that followed after the 4th-century CE, as well as the Indian arts as exemplified by the pervasive presence Kama-related reliefs and sculpture in old Hindu temples. Of these, the Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is a UNESCO world heritage site. Among the surviving temples in north India, one in Rajasthan sculpts all the major chapters and sexual positions to illustrate the Kamasutra. According to Wendy Doniger, the Kamasutra became “one of the most pirated books in English language” soon after it was published in 1883 by Richard Burton. This first European edition by Burton does not faithfully reflect much in the Kamasutra because he revised the collaborative translation by Bhagavanlal Indrajit and Shivaram Parashuram Bhide with Forster Arbuthnot to suit 19th-century Victorian tastes.

The original composition date or century for the Kamasutra is unknown. Historians have variously placed it between 400 BCE and 300 CE. According to John Keay, the Kama Sutra is a compendium that was collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 3,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams
DIMENSIONS 55.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, colour, gilding
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
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