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Indo Sassanian Coinage - Series 1.1 - Early types

 
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 Posted 07/22/2018  01:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1.1.4 Coin 2
23mm
3.80g



Sadly, the face of this coin is obscured by a flat-struck area; I do feel however that it shares enough features with the previous coin to be placed here. As with Coin 1, we can see a conservatively sized hat with an antenna at the top. The wings are still ornately engraved, but are much smaller now. The brim of the hat is wide, and seems to curve upward slightly. We can see a broad neck, and large, patterned shoulder pads connected at a central brooch.

The fire altar is tall and wide, and shows the same tiny lozenge shaft. Curiously, the flame is not textured at all - it is simply a solid triangular block. The ribbons are somewhat longer, beaded, but still are nearly horizontal coming from the shaft. The moon is on the left, and the sun appears to be a few dots clustered at the right. The attendants sadly are not especially clear, but are quite different than the attendant on Coin 1. The left attendant shows us that the dress most closely resembles 1.1.2 Coin 4 - there are no visible thorns, and the dress beneath the arm is a block, with a slanting hem that hangs off to the side. The legs are both strings of dots, and the arm is a singular, smoothly curving line that holds the ribbon. The right attendant shows about the same, although we can now see that the arm gesturing toward the fire altar is extremely small, almost nonexistent. The necklace is beaded, and the head is a small oval that does not pass over the die border.
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 Posted 07/22/2018  1:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice coins Steve,especially like the 1.1.3 coin 3...
Was looking at one of these recently but have shyed away so far as it has a lot of bright blue encrustations in some of the details? Paul
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 Posted 08/01/2018  01:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Series 1.1.5 - Uncertain Intermediate & Late Types

Admittedly another junk bucket category - This series is littered with one-off coins that are different enough from the other, established categories (as well as one another, usually) that they evade a more precise categorization. These are distinct from Series 1.1.2 in that:

- The portrait is usually of lesser artistic merit, and is at least passingly similar to 1.1.4 or 1.1.5
- The portrait usually has a beard
- The attendants tend to be more stylized and less realistic

1.1.5 Coin 1
24mm
4.05g



This coin I feel most closely draws its inspiration from 1.1.3. We can see a face that is stylized, but not yet abstracted. Of particular note, the cheek is solid, but tapers off to a point, and the nose, while fully in relief, is separated from the head in a way that reminds of a Mr. Potato Head toy. The beard hovers an awkward distance from the cheek. The eye and headgear unfortuantely are obscured by a flat strike. The ear is large, well, engraved, and sports a three-pearl earring, with a star standing in for the hair bun behind it. The shoulder pads here are textured clubs attached to a central brooch beneath the portrait. The bottom portion of the front ribbon is visible, and presents as an elaborately curving pair of two parallel lines. Curiously, the rear ribbon lacks this detail, and is a single line swirl crammed in between the hair bun and the die border.

The fire altar here is notable for its exceptionally wide base that merges with the flame to become a diamond shape. The shaft presents almost like a spear head shape, and the base is mostly obscured by the striking issues. The ribbons are tightly clustered strings of dots hanging from the bowl and sagging on their way to the attendants. We can see a delicately engraved crescent moon above to the right, but the sun is mostly obscured by the striking issues - if anything, it seems to present as a large X shape.

The right attendant here is exceptional in that she appears to have a face:

The thorn dress is extremely prominent here, although it flattens out a bit beneath the arm. The dress forks at the bottom, but the legs are just two dots! The arm is medium length, meeting sharply at the elbow. Curiously, there are three dots at the shoulder; perhaps indicating a sort of shoulder pad or other decoration?
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 Posted 08/17/2018  3:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1.1.5 Coin 2
23mm
4.04g



This coin is clearly of the same issue as our Coin 1, possibly even from the same dies. The flat-struck areas on these two coins complement one another, so a certain assessment may not be possible.

The portrait on this coin is more complete, and more striking. We can see the eye here is an unadorned dot sitting within a rather large eye socket. The huge nose displays as an irregular wedge shape, disconnected from the rest of the face except perhaps at the nasal bridge. The ear is large, rounded, and adorned with a three-pearl earring. The hair bun is a star behind the head, here showing more worn than the previous example. The rear ribbon is visible here, the lower portion comprised of two lines trailing in from the edge of the die, and the upper portion cramped beneath the brim of the hat, which is mostly not visible.

Again, the fire altar takes a rather striking shape, the flame seemingly a solid triangle atop the bowl. The shaft is a lozenge shape, and short sagging ribbons hang from the bottom of the bowl. There appear to be *two* moons on this coin.

The attendants again take a rather unusual form, with a large, almost naturally shaped head atop a body of extremely prominent herringbones. The legs are two large dots at the bottom of the dress, and the arms are extremely long, here again with a subtle three-pellet decoration at the shoulder. An important feature here - near the elbow of the left attendant we can see a small squiggle; as far as I have seen, this is the last coin from this entire track to show any remnant of the original Pahlavi legend.
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 Posted 08/17/2018  4:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1.1.5 Coin 3
22mm
3.87g



Here we see a foreshadowing of the portrait type that will come to dominate series 1.2. Although quite rough around the edges, we can see a very tall, thin portrait with highly simplified features but an elegantly and heavily engraved scowling eyebrow. The eye is an unadorned dot sitting snugly within the eye socket. Unlike the previous coins, the nose here is a simple line running from the eyebrow until it is even with the top lip, and the nostril is an unattached dot hovering between the nose and the face. The lips are dots attached to the face, and interestingly, they are not even, giving the impression of a rather severe underbite. The hat sports a very wide brim made up of rows of dots, and the wings are somewhat small and simply engraved. The top of the headgear is moderately wide, short, and sports a small antenna; no orb is visible. The shoulder pads are too weakly struck to determine if they are textured, but interestingly we can see small protrusions beneath them, as if they were intended to portray a sort of cloak or cape tied at the king's neck? The ribbon is rather simplistic, the lower portion originating from right above the shoulder pad and lazily curving upward to the upper portion, which are three perfectly spaced and parallel lines.

The fire altar is tall and thin, with the base somewhat wider than the bowl or flame. The flame is weakly struck; I cannot comment on its structure. The shaft is mostly a thick line, although there is a bulge or decoration at the middle. The ribbons are strings of dots hanging down from the bowl to the attendants' hands. There is a visible moon at the top left; the top right is indistinct.

The attendants are a bit unusual. The head is large and ovoid, with what appears to be a nose and/or mouth, but otherwise no visible facial features. The necklace is quite prominent, and the breasts are large and prominently engraved. The body is a single curving line with dots placed along its length; no herringbones! The dress forks at the end, but no legs are visible. The arm is long and curves smoothly at the elbow, with a dot representing the hand. The fire altar-side arm originates at the bottom line of the bowl and follows the curvature tightly before terminating at the top line.
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 Posted 08/17/2018  4:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1.1.5 Coin 4
23mm
4.06g



This coin seems to draw inspiration from Series 1.1.4, although with some distinctions. The portrait here has a distinctive smoothly curved jaw, which gives the head the overall shape of an orange slice! It is engraved in better relief than is typical for series after 1.1.2. The eye is a small unadorned dot sitting directly on the face with no visible socket. The nose is a straight line with a dot nostril, just as on our Coin 3. The lips are also dots arranged directly beneath the nostril, although there is a clear moustache coming from the upper lip. The beard is made of two parallel lines of dots, and merge at an indistinct point directly beneath the lower lip. The ear is naturalistically engraved, with only two pearls visible. The hat again has a dotted brim, but this time it does not extend all the way to the edge of the coin. The wings are elaborately engraved, almost exactly like on 1.1.4. The top of the hat is tall and comes to a point, no antenna or orb visible on this specimen. The ribbon is elegantly engraved, with the lower portion presenting as two lines giving the impression of a thick ribbon which folds right above the shoulder pad and leads up to a rather small and slanted upper portion.

The fire altar is tall and hour glass shaped. The flames are not visible at all, and the bowl presents with the top two lines of nearly equal length atop a very stunted third line. The base is more evenly sloped, and the shaft is a pleasing diamond shape. The ribbons are strings of dots hanging down to the attendants' hands, although there are two unexplained dots beneath the left ribbon. Moon and/or sun are obscured by the flat strike.

The attendants take the usual tall thin shape, although their heads are not distinct. The herringbones are rather subtle, although more pronounced on the right attendant. The dress forks outward at the hem, although we can see on the left attendant that it is decorated with dots. Clear legs present as two lines of dots beneath the dress. The arms are long and meet sharply at the elbow. The fire altar-side arms are entirely detached from the body, arcing from the bottom to the top of the bowl and coming closest to their attendant in the middle, at roughly head level.
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1.1.5 Coin 5
23mm
3.89g



What a peculiar bust! While coins of this series come in a rather wide array of styles, this one sports by far the most crude portrait I have ever seen within this style. While the necklace and shoulder pads are delicately detailed, the face presents with the cheek as a large squarish block, and the rest of the features sort of hovering in front of it. The eye is an unadorned dot; the nose a line with no visible nostril, and the lips two simple dots several millimeters removed from the cheek. The beard is a single line of dots which form the jaw and chin. The hair bun is an indistinct blob, and the ear is completely obscured by the striking issues. We can see the brim of the hat and part of the front wing, but not much detail in the headgear. The neck is unusually thick and prominent between the jaw and the necklace. The ribbon originates from the tip of the shoulder pad and curves like a backwards S to the upper portion, which tips toward the portrait.

The fire altar is quite unusual as well; the flame begins as clear and well-spaced dots for the first three lines, but two additional lines are added, making the flame pattern 9-5-4-3-2-1. The bottom is so tightly packed that it could pass for a fourth line of the bowl. We can see the shaft is a diamond shape, although much of the lower portion is obscured by a flat strike. There is a clear moon at the upper right, although a double strike has erased the sun, if it was there to begin with. A second attendant's head hovers slightly below where we would expect the sun to be.

The double strike is especially apparent on the attendants, and makes them somewhat difficult to make out. The right is the more clear, and we can see a small round head sitting atop a necklace, with prominent breasts below it. It appears at first that the body is a straight line, but on closer observation we can see a faint thorn dress offset by a couple mm to the right; the line extending down from the breasts is actually the altar-side arm. The dress seems to fork out at the hem, but the legs are not distinct. The arm is medium, and bends sharply at the elbow.

Note also that the dies used on this coin are a good deal smaller than the flan diameter - both were offset, which caused rather extreme distortion; almost a scyphate shape. That could be a primary driving factor behind the eventual move to using dies larger than the flans.
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1.1.5 Coin 6
21mm
3.84g



Another curiosity that could only go in a junk bin category. Struck on a much smaller flan, the portrait here seems to be of slightly more naturalistic proportions, although it is still stylized in its own way. The portrait has an almost squarish cheek with a solid jaw that slopes downward, giving a more youthful and less masculine overall appearance. The eye is a dash rather than a dot, and sits in the middle of a rather large eye socket. The nose is a straight line, with a dot hovering behind it to represent the nostril. The lips are detached from the face, and are two dashes. There is no indication of any facial hair. The hat is especially notable for having a decorative swirl - a rather unusual feature. The wings are weakly struck, but fairly large and seem to follow after series 1.1.3. The brim of the hat is wide, although it is unclear whether it extends to the edge of the die. The antenna is present on this coin, although it is intersected by a crescent. The ribbon originates from the edge of the die in front of the shoulder pads, and makes a rather simple C-shaped curve before meeting the upper portion, which is tightly packed and leaning slightly toward the bust.

The fire altar is a bit more conventional, although the flames are not clear. The shaft is made of a pillar, and the ribbon seems to extend down past the attendant's arm on the left. A small crescent moon is present at the top left.

The attendants have reverted to the tall oval head with thin, curved bodies adorned with a dress of conservatively sized thorns, which flares out at the bottom. The arm is medium length, and curves at the elbow. The altar-side arm curves with the bowl, with the part that ought to be the shoulder resting atop the hand of the other arm, and the hand meeting where the shoulder ought to be. Whether this was intentional, or sloppy engraving, it is clear by this point that the celatores no longer understood the original purpose of the altar-side arm which is meant to gesture toward/salute the flames.
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 Posted 10/11/2018  02:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1.1.5 Coin 7

23mm
3.98g




This coin is just as perplexing now as when I first purchased it. Despite being struck at least twice--and possibly a third time--roughly half of the obverse is completely featureless. We can see from the lowest strike that the chin here seems to follow the same "Orange slice" shape found on 1.1.5-4, which is more or less the only criteria placing it in this category. We can see the hat is a small semicircle and the wings have reduced to just a few lines. The ear appears as an upside down teardrop shape and is solid, arguably because of the multiple strikes. Three pearls are visible on long chains hanging down from the earlobe. The rear ribbon is small and delicately carved.

Again, striking issues make the reverse of this coin extremely difficult to assess. The fire altar is wide and ov about average height, and the flame appears to be a solid triangle. We can see the ribbon sags in the middle and is held by the attendant. The attendant is tall and thin, but reasonably well-proportioned with a very tall and narrow featureless head atop a pearl necklace. The breasts are large and prominent, and the arm bends naturalistically at both the elbow and the wrist, although the hand is still just a continuation of the arm. We can clearly see the less common skirt hem swept to the side, as on 1.1.4-2. The sun appears on the left and is a ring of six dots with no visible center.
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 Posted 10/11/2018  08:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting coin, and good formal analysis, Steve. Nice to see the thread revived.
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1.1.6 - Line Style 1 - Large head with round cheek

A relatively common coin for this series, the artistry here takes a sharp turn as the die is engraved almost entirely in line etchings; the cheek and shoulder pads being the only exception. Individual specimens show surprisingly little variance, which is unusual for series 1.1.

Consideration points for this series:
- The obverse and reverse dies are engraved almost entirely in line etchings; almost no relief is present on the coin.
- The portrait is large, well-proportioned, and powerful
- Just about the only part of the coin in relief is the king's cheek, which is a large solid circle that hovers without touching any other part of the face.
- The eye is a dot, set within a circular eye socket. A line trails from the back of the socket, perhaps trying to indicate a more "Hunnic" (e.g. Eastern Asian) eye.
- There is a long, thin, delicately engraved mustache that runs from the top lip and follows the curvature of the cheek without touching either the cheek or the beard.
- The fire altar is tall, wide, and the flames are comprised of both more rows of dots (about 5-7 rows) with up to 9 dots in the bottom row.

This type is published and widely known. Maheshwari proposes these as the origination point of the Gadhaiya Paisa, although I suspect they are a dead-end in the evolutionary tree. More on that later.

1.1.6 Coin 1
23mm
3.98g




This is, believe it or not, remarkably complete for this type, although it is slightly double-struck. The head is large and powerful, although lifeless. The eye presents as an open circle with a clearly visible line pointing toward the back of the head, and is topped by a small eyebrow. The nose is a short line that descends from the eyebrow down at about a 45 degree angle, and the nostril is a small dot that hovers behind the tip. The lips are two dots below the nostril, as is the chin below the lips. the moustache is delicately engraved, and shows the double strike most clearly. The double strike has caused the beard dots to merge into a single thick bumpy line. The ear is small and sits at the top of the head, the typical 3-pearl earring descending from the lobe. The hair bun is a small star behind the earring. The hat is small and domed, the brim extending to the edge of the die on either side, and the small wings barely visible above that. If you really squint, you can somewhat make out the orb above the hat. The shoulder pads are large club shapes outlined by a tight line of dots. The ribbon originates from the shoulder pads on both sides, and swirls up to a small upper portion on both sides.

The fire altar here is quite prominent, and we can see at least six rows of flame dots, with no less than seven dots at the bottom row. The shaft is a thin, unadorned line, and the ribbon is a dotted line that sags dramatically in the middle and is held by both attendants. The sun is a six or seven-pointed star above the fire altar to the left.

The left attendant is somewhat clearly visible; she is tall, thin, has an elongated head that extends beyond the die border, and her necklace curiously extends all the way up until it touches the star. The arm joins sharply at the elbow. The dress is thin behind the arm, but spreads out to a dramatic hem right above the legs, which are barely discernible as two lines beneath the dress.
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 Posted Yesterday  3:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1.1.6 Coin 2
23mm
4.07g



This was my first coin from this series! Despite the dark patina and striking issues, this coin exemplifies the portrait style of this type quite well. Of particular note, the eye is well formed, with a dot pupil set within a circular socket with a small line portruding from the behind. Contrasting with coin 1, the ear is larger, set a little lower on the head, has a dot in the middle (I assume standing for the ear opening, although it could be an earring), but this time only two pearls are visible on the earring. The hat again is small and rounded, and we can see the lower crescent, but not the orb. Two pellets flank the top of the hat, between the wings and the orb.

The reverse unfortunately is poorly struck. The fire altar thankfully is mostly complete; we can clearly see four rows of fire dots (about 2-3 are off flan), and the bottom row has seven flame dots. The shaft is a simple pillar, and the ribbon this time is large and again droops dramatically in the middle. On the left side we can clearly see a single dot hovering in the middle of the droop - I am not sure of its significance, if there is any. The attendants are too weakly struck to provide any meaningful insights.
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1.1.6 Coin 3
24mm
4.10g



Again with the striking issues, yeesh! While still part of this series, this coin is unusual in that the striking issue (either metal deformation from an improperly aligned strike, an improperly formed flan, or an overstrike), this one does not have the cheek hovering without touching anything; it connects to the hat. We can learn some good things from this coin, at any rate. Here we can clearly see the forepart of the face, and especially the front ribbon, which has a thick main line in the lower section, as well as a thinner accent line to give it a pseudo-3D effect. The ribbon originates from the necklace on this coin. The hat is somewhat obscured by the strike issues, but appears to be patterned. The left wing is clear, and delicately engraved. The orb is faintly visible, and appears to be turreted or patterned.

The reverse again has a very large fire altar with an excess number of flame dots - I count 6 rows with a bottom row containing at least 7 dots. The pillar this time is a lozenge or diamond shape, but the ribbons still sag dramatically. The sun is a star on the left, and the moon is a crescent with a dot in the center at the right.

The attendants again are tall, skinny, have large, wide hems on their dresses, and long, sharply jointed arms. The leg of the right attendant is visible, and is patterned with dots.
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 Posted Today  3H 57M ago  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice coins...I havenīt got this type in my set so will keep my eyes peeled..

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