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    Description

    Extremely Rare Double Dinar

    INDIA. Kushan Empire. Vima Kadphises (ca. AD 113-127). AV double dinar (24mm, 15.95 gm, 12h). Choice AU. Main Bactrian mint. BACIΛЄYC OOH MO KAΔΦICHC, full-length figure of Vima Kadphises seated facing on cushioned throne with ornate legs and high back, wearing diadem and domed tiara, head left, holding laurel branch in raised right hand and resting left arm on left knee; club to left, tamgha to right / Kharosthi legend, ithyphallic Siva standing facing, head left, holding trident in right hand and resting left arm on bull Nandi behind, standing right with head facing; Buddhist triratana symbol left. Bopearachchi, Premiers, Série IX, 22. MK 11. ANS Kushan 260. Sunrise 523. Donum Burns 76. Extremely rare! Struck in extreme high relief on a weighty flan.

    Ex Gemini LLC Auction 11 (12 January 2014), lot 303 (realized $31,000 hammer).

    The Kushans originated as a branch of the Yuezhi nomads of western China, intermixed with Bactrian, Iranian, and Indian elements, creating an eclectic blend of cultures and ethnicities. At its peak, the Kushan Empire stretched from modern Afghanistan, to northern and central Pakistan and India, and even to parts of Western China. Like many Kushan rulers, Vima Kadphises is something of a mystery in terms of his character and accomplishments. We know the broad outlines: He was the third ruler of the dynasty, succeeding his father Vima Taktu; he greatly enlarged the kingdom through conquests in modern Pakistan; the economy flourished during his reign as the Kushan Empire grew rich on foreign trade. Most importantly to our purposes, he was the first Kushan ruler to strike gold coins, including our impressive double-dinar, the types of which illustrate the unique fusion of Hellenistic Greek, Central Asian steppe, and Indian Hindu and Buddhist cultures found on early Kushan coinage. The obverse portrays Vima Kadphises as a godlike ruler seated on an elaborate cushioned throne, wearing traditional steppe headgear and garb as well as the diadem of a Greek king. Like the Huns, the Kushans seem to have artificially elongated the skulls of their male rulers from infancy, producing the effect seen here. The reverse portrays the Hindu god Shiva with the sacred bull Nandi, as well as the Buddhist triaratna ("three jewels") symbol. There is also a Roman element involved here if we consider that the gold from which this coin was made likely came from melted down aurei used to pay for eastern luxuries.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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