Safi I, Safavid Shah of Iran AH 1038-1052/AD 1629-1642

KM 134.3; A 2638.2, Fine

Baghdad mint, type B. Persian, hast as jan gholam-e Shah Safi “from his soul he is the slave of Shah Safi”, mint and date; Reverse, Shi’ite Kalima. The obverse phrase refers not to the reigning shah but to Safi al-Din Ardabili (1252-1334), the eponymous founder of the Safavid line. Rare.


Safi I was the Safavid Shah of Iran from 1629 to1642. The Ottomans had suffered major defeats in the Ottoman-Safavid wars of 1623-1629 at the hands of Safi’s grandfather Shah ‘Abbas the Great. That kept the Ottomans at bay. However upon the accession of Safi to the throne, the Ottomans began another round of invasion, counting on the reputed weakness of the new king. Safi, fearful of various plots against the throne, began executing members of royal family as well as high ranking generals. Despite the chaos at court the Safavid generals were able to push the Ottomans out of Baghdad. Safi was a heavy imbiber of wine. He hated managing affairs of state and eventually drank himself to death.