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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Asian CoinsView Options:  |  |  |   

Asian Coins

Kushan Empire, Shaka, c. 325 - 345 A.D.

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This coin has a Brahmi inscription "Shaka" in the right field, in the same place where Vasudeva II's coins read "Vasu." It is natural to suppose that perhaps Shaka was the name of the king who issued the coin. There is a mention of one "Devaputra Shahi Shahanshahi Shaka Murunda" in Samudragupta's famous Allahabad inscription, as one of the rulers who paid him homage. In this context, Shaka could be a title, it could refer to a tribe, or it could be a personal name. In any case, it seems to be related to the Shaka coins. Robert Gbl did not think Shaka was the name of a ruler; rather, he thought the coins were tribal issues, but Michael Mitchiner and many other authors do think Shaka was a king.
SH85122. Gold dinar, Gbl Kushan 585; cf. ANS Kushan 1671, Donum Burns 760 - 762, gVF, small hairline flan crack, scratch on reverse, weight 7.823 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, c. 325 - 345 A.D.; obverse Shaka standing left, sacrificing over altar, filleted staff in left hand, filleted trident to left, Brahmi bhi to right of altar, Brahmi sya below arm, Brahmi inscription Shaka outer right; reverse goddess Ardoxsho enthroned facing, diadem in right hand, cradling cornucopia in left arm, tamgha upper left; $800.00 (712.00)


Indo-Greek Kingdom, Menander I Soter, c. 155 - 130 B.C.

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Menander is the most important Greek king who ruled in India and the only Greek king mentioned in Indian literature. Tradition maintains he was a wise and powerful King, who converted to Buddhism. This is further evidenced by his later coin legends which translate, "follower of the Dharma."
WA79645. Silver drachm, SNG ANS 879, Mitchiner IGIS 218c, Bopearachchi Smithsonian 124, Bopearachchi 16I, HGC 12 193, SNG Cop -, gVF, attractive style, toned, reverse off center, light marks, weight 2.451 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Paropamisadai or Gandhara, uncertain mint, c. 155 - 130 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ MENAN∆POY, draped bust right, wearing diadem and crested helmet ornamented with bull's horn and ear; reverse Kharosthi legend: Maharajasa Tratarasa Menadrasa (of Great King Menander the Savior), Athena Alkidemos standing left, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, shield on left arm, Kharosthi monogram right; $160.00 (142.40)


Sasanian Empire, Khusro II, Occupation of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D.

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During his temporary domination of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D., Khusru allowed the Alexandria mint to continue issuing the normal Byzantine coinage, but substituted his portrait for the Byzantine emperor's. The sun and moon replaced the obverse legend, just as on contemporary Sasanian coinage. It may seem strange that a Persian king would wear a crown surmounted by a cross; however, his wife Sira was a Christian, he was a benefactor of the church of St. Sergius in Edessa, he honored the Virgin, and he sometimes wore a robe embroidered with a cross which he had received as a gift from the Emperor Maurice Tiberius. The Byzantine emperors resumed the imperial coinage of Alexandria after their recapture of Egypt in 628 A.D.
WA77071. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II, part 1, 191; Hahn MIB 202b; Wroth BMC 277; Tolstoi 109; Ratto 1316; Morrisson BnF 10/Al/AE/32; SBCV 855; Sommer 11.92, aVF, as-found slightly rough near black patina, well centered, weight 10.428 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, 618 - 628 A.D.; obverse bust of the Sassanid King Khusru II wearing a crown with pendilia and surmounted by a cross, star left, crescent moon right; reverse large I B with cross potent on globe between, AΛEZ in exergue; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, Caesarea Maritima surface find; $135.00 (120.15)


Baktrian Kingdom, Euthydemos I Theos Megas, c. 225 - 195 B.C.

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Euthydemus was allegedly a native of Magnesia and a son of General Apollodotus. According to Polybius, Euthydemus was a Satrap of Sogdiana who ousted the dynasty of Diodotus from Bactria and made himself king. His kingdom seems to have been substantial, including Sogdiana to the north, and Margiana and Ariana to the south or east of Bactria. When Antiochus III the Great attacked in 208 B.C., Euthydemus lost the Battle of the Arius but then resisted a three-year siege in the fortified city of Bactra. Euthydemus negotiated peace asserting that he toppled the descendants of the rebel Diodotus and provided a barrier to barbarian invasions. Antiochus decided to recognize him as king, and offered one of his daughters to Euthydemus' son Demetrius.
AW73959. Bronze double unit, Kritt Dynastic AK-1, Bopearachchi series 17, SNG ANS 147, Mitchiner IGIS 87, SGCV II 7523, HGC 12 53 (R1), F, thick flan with beveled edge, corrosion, weight 7.245 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 45o, Ai Khanoum mint, c. 225 - 208/6 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Herakles right; reverse horse prancing right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ above, EYΘY∆HMOY below; scarce; $120.00 (106.80)


Kushan Empire, Kanishka I the Great, c. 127 - 150 A.D.

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Kanishka I the Great ruled an empire in Bactria extending from Turfan in the Tarim Basin to Pataliputra on the Gangetic plain, c. 127 - 150 A.D., with his capital at Purusapura in Gandhara. He is famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements. His conquests and patronage of Buddhism played an important role in the development of the Silk Road, and the transmission of Mahayana Buddhism from Gandhara across the Karakoram range to China.
AW84802. Bronze tetradrachm, Gbl Kushan 768, Mitchiner ACW 3077, BMC India 46, Whitehead Panjab 68, aVF, thick tight flan, some, weight 17.632 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 315o, Purusapura(?) mint, c. 128 - 150 A.D.; obverse Bactrian legend: PAO KA-NhPW (King Kanishka), king standing half left, diademed head left, sacrificing at altar at feet on left, long scepter vertical in left hand; reverse sun god Mithra standing left, radiate nimbus around head, raising right hand commanding sunrise, left hand on sword hilt at side, tamgha left, Bactrian legend: MIIRO curving downward on right; scarce; $80.00 (71.20)


Indo-Scythian Kingdom, Azes II, c. 35 B.C. - 5 A.D.

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Azes II may have been the last Indo-Scythian king in the northern Indian subcontinent (modern day Pakistan). Indo-Scythian rule crumbled under the conquests of the Kushans who expanded into India to create the Kushan Empire. Senior and Hoover now believe Azes II did not exist and attribute all Azes coins to Azes I or as posthumous imitative issues. A type attributed to Azes I has been found overstruck on a coin traditionally attributed to Azes II, supporting their hypothesis.
WA90095. Bronze hexachalkon, Senior 102.193, Mitchiner ACW 2386, Mitchiner IGIS 850f, HGC 12 657, aVF, weight 12.825 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 135o, Taxila Sirsukh B(?) mint, c. 35 B.C. - 5 A.D.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛEΩN MEΓAΛOY AZOY (King of Kings, Azes the Great), humped bull standing right, Kharosthi monogram above, Kharosthi letter "jha" before forelegs; reverse Kharosthi legend: Maharajasa rajadirajasa mahatasa Ayasa (great king, king of kings, Azes the Great), mane-less lion standing right, Kharosthi monogram above; ex Ancient Imports; $70.00 (62.30)


Indo-Scythian Kingdom, Azes II, c. 35 B.C. - c. 5 A.D.

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Azes II may have been the last Indo-Scythian king in the northern Indian subcontinent (modern day Pakistan). Indo-Scythian rule crumbled under the conquests of the Kushans who expanded into India to create the Kushan Empire. Senior and Hoover now believe Azes II did not exist and attribute all Azes coins to Azes I or as posthumous imitative issues. A type attributed to Azes I has been found overstruck on a coin traditionally attributed to Azes II, supporting their hypothesis.
BB75464. Silver drachm, cf. Senior 105.223D, Frhlich 222, cf. Mitchiner IGIS 859 (various controls), HGC 12 655, gF, toned, tight flan, porous, weight 1.857 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 270o, Mir Zakah(?) mint, obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛEΩN MEΓAΛOY AZOY, king on horseback riding right, whip in right hand, Kharosthi monogram (control) right; reverse Kharosthi legend: maharajasa rajatirajasa mahatasa Ayasa, Zeus standing left, Nike extended in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, Kharosthi monogram (control) left, B over Kharosthi letter Vi (control) right; $27.00 (24.03)


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

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Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH84031. Bronze 10 cash, Hartill 16.407, Schjoth 620, Fisher 1050, EF, encrustations, weight 11.222 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, 1102 - 1106 A.D.; obverse Chong Ning zong bao (coinage of greater reverence); orthodox script, top-bottom-right-left; reverse blank; $22.00 (19.58)


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

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Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH84030. Bronze 10 cash, Hartill 16.407, Schjoth 620, Fisher 1050, EF, deposits, weight 9.002 g, maximum diameter 34.9 mm, 1102 - 1106 A.D.; obverse Chong Ning zong bao (coinage of greater reverence); orthodox script, top-bottom-right-left; reverse blank; $22.00 (19.58)


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Zhe Zong, 1086 - 1100 A.D.

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"Round as the heavens, square as the earth," is a Chinese saying used to metaphorically describe the fabric of the coins. On the practical side, it was discovered very early that a square hole fit a square shaft, which enabled a stacked quantity of coins to be turned on a lathe to remove casting irregularities.
CH54352. Bronze 2 cash, Shao Sheng Yuan Bao, seal script, clockwise, small size; Hartill 16.303, Schjoth 593, Fisher 995, gVF, weight 8.358 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, 1094 - 1097 A.D.; very common; $20.00 (17.80)




  







Catalog current as of Thursday, May 25, 2017.
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Asian Coins