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Anonymous 4th Century Nakhshab Hemidrachm Or Something Else?

 
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 Posted 02/25/2020  9:03 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I picked this one up recently from Stephen Album and I'm wondering if one of our Indian experts can shed any light. It was listed as:


Quote:
NAKHSHAB: Anonymous, ca. 4th century, AR hemidrachm (2.02g), Zeno-, stylized bust left // fanciful design of an archer, tentatively assigned to Nakhshab by the obverse style.


Someone has taken the liberty of uploading the coin onto Zeno here:

https://www.zeno.ru/showphoto.php?photo=238855

The problem that I have is that neither side really looks like it is Nakhshab--the portraits are almost never this stylized and the archers are similarly rendered more realistically. In fact, the rev kinda looks like a stylized horse head facing right to me as opposed to an archer. My main reference for this is Naymark's paper, "The Coinage of Nakhshab during the First-Fourth Centuries CE. Towards a New Systematization of Sogdian Coinages and the Political History of Sogd during Antiquity", although I have done a fair amount of rooting around on Zeno.

The only thing that makes any sense to me is Celtic, but I'd be surprised for SARC to be so far off with their attribution. Anyone have any thoughts?




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 Posted 02/26/2020  12:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The reverse is clearly a horse's head (Bucephalus, note the horns!). Both the "horse head" and "archer" (Apollo) types are well-known, both ultimately derived from the coinage of Antiochus I. The longevity of these types at Nakhshab and other Sogdian cities resulted in a variety of styles. Compare a few examples here: https://www.zeno.ru/search.php?searchid=428290. Someone at SARC was asleep at the switch and the Zeno poster repeated the error.

Compare also these plates from Zeimal (1983), Drevnie Monety Tajikistana, especially the last (plate 8), numbers 098 and 099. The text, unfortunately, is in Russian.


Edited by Kushanshah
02/26/2020 01:47 am
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 Posted 02/26/2020  01:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fascinating coin!

I have the (much) more common archer type which I have posted before -



These are very much a Rorschach test - I can understand the confusion.
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 Posted 02/26/2020  05:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One further thought. You might contact Dr. Naymark for clarification. I once emailed him with a question after reading an article of his. He was very approachable and seemed pleased that his work was appreciated. You can email him through his Hofstra faculty page https://www.hofstra.edu/faculty/fac....cfm?id=1074.
Edited by Kushanshah
02/26/2020 05:52 am
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 Posted 02/26/2020  05:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok thanks it is nice to know that I'm not going crazy. Nothing on Zeno looks close (at least to my eyes, but I agree that Zeimal 98 and 99 are close enough that I'm feeling better about this being Nakhshab). In fact, with the prominent bridle, #98 looks closest.

@finn, I'm also glad to see that your coin is a bit scyphate too.

Thanks guys for your help!


Added: @ks, looks like we were typing at the same time. Yes, I wrote to him a while back when I got my first Nakhshab and he was amazingly helpful and gracious.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
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 Posted 02/26/2020  10:14 am  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting coin, it took a minute or so to make out the horse head very stylized.
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