Author Topic: What is this? A Parthian bronze?  (Read 194 times)

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Offline Pellinore

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What is this? A Parthian bronze?
« on: December 25, 2017, 05:53:22 PM »
I bought a number of diverse Central-Asian coins, and this was without any description. It's thickish, 16 mm and 2.93 gr. I thought of later Parthian bronzes, hence the orientation of the reverse - could it be the sitting archer? But maybe I'm wrong. Does anybody have an idea?

-- Paul

Offline Pellinore

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Re: What is this? A Parthian bronze?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 12:57:15 AM »
I have another coin that's a bit comparable to the OP coin. Hard to picture, but Figleaf managed to do it much better than I could, using the good old whisky glass method. It's about as thick and large as the other one. I can hardly discern anything on the reverse, but the obverse shows a Parthian-like head.

-- Paul

Offline Bob L.

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Re: What is this? A Parthian bronze?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 03:58:12 AM »
"...could it be the sitting archer?"  Yes, exactly.

Both are likely Sellwood type 93's.  Sellwood attributed these to Sanabares, 50-65 AD, "ruler of unknown antecedents (who) set up a secessionist state in the north east" territories of Parthia. Shore for his part left these issues unattributed, but concluded that "they were struck on the eastern frontiers of the Parthian empire by the Parthians."  So he implicitly disagreed with Sellwood that these were issued by secessionists.

Tom Mallon has a page devoted to Parthian imitative types...scan way down and you'll see some similar: http://grifterrec.rasmir.com/par_rel/par_rel.html

Schatz at Forum has a page devoted to the imitatives, including a bunch of Sellwood 93's: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=6213
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 04:08:23 AM by Bob L. »

Offline Pellinore

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Re: What is this? A Parthian bronze?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 07:32:16 PM »
Dear Bob, thanks very much for your identification. Both coins are fitting loosely in Sellwood 93 (the last Type in his book) and in especially the Forum page you showed, of the collector Schatz. Sellwood mentions a quite definite date, AD 50-65, and Schatz much less so, second century. He puts it in a tradition of Eastern Parthian or semi-Parthian coinage that starts with Artabanus II (or IV).

I also have an Artabanus AE drachm, quite an ugly coin I find. It definitely has a different fabric, less dumpy, flatter, more like a drachm than a chalkous. According to the seller it was a billon drachm, but it doesn't look the part. 17.5 mm, 3.75 gr. Strongly cleaned, too.


« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 08:13:15 PM by Pellinore »