Obock (also Obok or Ubuk) is a small port city in Djibouti.
In colonial times, it used to be part of French Somaliland.
The main French presence in the city of Obock was from 1862 to 1891.
In 1891, the French colonial administration moved to Djibouti.
A later source of French influence in Obock was the settlement of Henry de Monfreid
(1879-1974) from 1920 into the 1960s.
The Maria Theresa Taler was legal tender (currency) in Djibouti from November 21, 1885,
to January 26, 1943.
The Obock counterstamp is a square with Arabic writing.
It is listed in the Hafner catalog as Hafner 113.
Literature references regarding the Obock counterstamps are scarce.
The only reference I have been able to find is in
Bruce, Unusual World Coins
, Djibouti, X#13.
No information about the counterstamp's history is provided.
Besides being struck on Maria Theresa Talers, the Obock counterstamp is also seen
on India Rupees.
- Baldwin's auction 2003, lot #373; struck on 1862 India Rupee.
- ANS 1974.173.4,
on 1871 Indian Rupee. In this listing, the countermark is translated as follows:
from bottom to top: bism Allah / al-rahman al-rahim / duriba fi /
(star & crescent) Ubikh (with vowel for u, dots for B and Kh) ... (uncertain letters); all in rectangle.
Additional information is provided as follows:
according to Panish, to be dated ca. 1870-71; mint is Obock on maps, etc., Obok in EI2.
The Obock counterstamp is very rare.
It is not offered for sale in the 1968-1972 Kreisberg and Schulman catalogs offering Browder type counterstamps.
|H.D. Rauch, Auction 32, January 1984, lot #3014.
||Description: Rial ca. 1962 (sic!) (Taler 1780 SF) / Mi. 148b.
Specimen displayed in Hafner catalog.
Host coin struck after 1945.
|Paul J. Bosco, Auction 18, The Hall Walls Collection of World Trade Coins, August 4, 1997, lot #450.
||Description: The inscription begins "In the Name of God", recites some praises,
and ends "Struck in Obock: 9.2.6".
Unusual World Coins, X#13. Host coin is a post-1945 strike.
The host coin of the specimen in my collection is Hafner 67 (struck 1952-55).
It is very unlikely that genuine specimen of Maria Theresa Talers with Obock counterstamp exist.
There are no historic records about counterstamping of coins in or for Obock.
The host coins of all known specimen have been struck after 1945,
while the counterstamp was supposedly applied either 1926 (according to Hafner)
or 1888 (Unusual World Coins).