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Indo-Parthian countermark on Parthian drachm


Parthicus
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Indo-Parthian countermark on Parthian host coin. Host coin: Phraates IV (38-2 BC), Margiana mint (Sellwood type 52.19) AR drachm (2.74 g, 20 mm). Obverse: bust of king left, eagle with diadem behind. Reverse: Seated archer right, somewhat blundered Greek legend around, Margiana mintmark under bow. Countermark: Helmeted bust right. This countermark on this host type: Sellwood 91.12. This coin: Pars Coins Auction 26, lot 145 (May 30, 2022).

The best general description of this coin type is found in Sellwood's catalogue:
"Drachms from the middle centuries of the Parthian age often carry small punch marks on the shoulder of the obverse bust. Such specimens appear to represent the currency of petty princes claiming independence from central Arsacid authority." There are a few types where a name is included in the countermark, but this type is anonymous. Interestingly, some later coins were struck locally which imitated both the original under type and the "countermark", with the countermark already carved into the obverse die! Indeed, this coin was listed on the auction site as such. However, note the flat area on the bottom of the reverse which corresponds to where the countermark was applied on the obverse. This flattening would only occur if an actual countermark was applied to an already-struck coin. Anyway, it's an interesting piece that gives a small insight into what was happening at the edges of the Parthian kingdom. Post your Indo-Parthian coins, or coins with countermarks, or whatever else is related.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Parthicus said:

... some later coins were struck locally which imitated both the original under type and the "countermark", with the countermark already carved into the obverse die!

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Indo-Parthian (late 1st century BC - early 1st century AD)
Drachm - 2.88 g - 18 mm
Sellwood 91.13 - Senior 199.2D
Diademed bust of Phraates IV left (imitation); eagle at right; pseudo-countermark (helmeted bust right).
Archer seated right on throne; corrupted legend.

There are of course better preserved exemples ; I acquired this drachm for the quality of the countermark.
If you wish, you can find the different countermarks of this coinage here:

http://www.parthika.fr/Contremarques.html

 

 

Edited by Alwin
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