ALLAN, John. Longniddry or Bolton (both in East Lothian) 8.8.1884 — Edinburgh 26.8.1955. British (Scottish) Numismatician and Indologist. Son of John Gray Allan, a head master. Educated at Royal High School in Edinburgh and at the Universities of Edinburgh and Leipzig. From 1907 working in British Museum, in 1924-31 as Deputy Keeper and 1931-49 as Keeper of the Dept. of Coins and Medals. Also Lecturer in Sanskrit at University College 1909-17 and at S.O.A.S. 1920-22. In 1915-18 at the Military Intelligence Dept. of War Office. Secretary of the Royal Numismatic Society 1909-48. In retirement Lecturer in Sanskrit at Edinburgh University 1949–55. Fellow of British Academy 1941. C.B. 1948, LL.D. 1949 Edinburgh. Married with Ida Law, one son and one daughter. His Gupta Coins with its important introduction was for a long time the standard work.
Publications: “Coinage of Assam”, NC 1909; “Coinage of the Maldive Islands”, NC 1912; articles on Indian acquisitions in NC, many reviews.
– Catalogue of the Coins of the Gupta Dynasties and of Sasanka, King of Gauda in the British Museum. 138+184 p. L. 1914; Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta. Vol. 4. Oxford 1928 (ed.); Catalogue of the Coins of Ancient India in the British Museum. 167+318 p. 46 pl. L. 1936.
– one of the editors of the Numismatic Chronicle 1921-1950.
– with T. W. Haig & H. H. Dodwell: The Cambridge Shorter History of India. Cambridge 1934; Appendix on coins in Marshall’s Taxila. Cambridge 1951.
Sources: Who Was Who 1951–1960; A.K.N. in JNSI 17:2, 1955, 112-114; The Glasgow Herald 29.8.1955; Wikipedia (with exceptionally full bilbiography of his articles).