Friday, January 16, 2009

What I got for Christmas

Here is what I got for Christmas:

INDO-SCYTHIAN, AZES II Silver tetradrachm, Zeus right type. CHOICE!

Obverse: King mounted on horse right, holding whip, Kharoshthi letter de at right, Greek legend around: BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛEΩN MEΓAΛOY / AZOY.

Reverse: Zeus standing right, holding right hand outstretched, holding sceptre in left, monogram at left, Kharoshthi letter si right, Kharoshthi legend around: Maharajasa rajarajasa mahatasa / Ayasa.

Date: c. 1st century BCE

Weight: 9.73 gm.

Diameter: 24 mm.

Die axis: 2 o'clock

Reference: MIG 828, Sen 99.67T

Comments: Mitchiner identifies the deity on the reverse as Poseidon, perhaps on the strength of the trident-like sceptre, but Senior identifies the figure as Zeus. A CHOICE coin!

A Note on the tetradrachms of Azes II: Azes II issued a wide array of tetradrachms that can be bewildering even to advanced collectors. The obverse is typically the so-called "KMW" or King mounted with whip. The reverses feature different deities: sometimes Zeus, sometimes Pallas Athena, sometimes a city goddess, and a given deity can be in different poses. The next criteria for differentiation is the monograms and/or letters on the reverse. Finally, there are distinguishing Kharoshthi letters on the obverse in front of the horse.

Description by seller CoinIndia.

I had one of these already but I wanted to upgrade when I saw this one on Vcoins and so I emailed the link to my wife who was kind enough to get it for me. In hand it looks nearly Mint-state, EF++ as my old dealer pal Mike Marx would say.


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