Kushan Dynasty: Vima Kadphises (c. 100-128 AD), AE Tetradrachm, First Bilingual series, Kapisa mint

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Amit Vyas, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    Kushan Dynasty: Vima Kadphises (c. 100-128 AD), AE Tetradrachm, First Bilingual series, Kapisa mint, Göbl 762, MAC 3008 (17.06 g, 27 mm)

    Obverse: King in Kushan dress, standing facing, head left, hand over altar at left, trident-battleaxe in left field, tamgha and (lateral) club in right field. Crudely engraved, somewhat corrupt, Greek legend BAC(I)ΛEYC BAC(IΛEWN CWTHP MEΓAC) OOHM KAΔΦICHC (Basileus Basileon Sotir Megas Ooim Kadphisis) (King of Kings, Vima Kadphises, the Great Saviour)

    Reverse: Ithyphallic three-headed Lord Shiva, wearing necklace; sacred thread over left shoulder, trident in right hand; left hand resting on Nandi (bull) standing right behind, Buddhist triratana (“Three Jewels”) symbol to left. Around: Kharosthi legend “ma(harajasa rajadhi?)rajasa (mahisvarasa?) sarvaloka isvarasa Hima Kathphishasa tratara” (Emperor, king of kings, Maheshwara, god of all realms, Vima Kadphises)
    18D938A8-3330-4D03-9530-5264B3B5BC30.jpeg
     
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  3. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I just got my first Kushans within the last year, so I don't know much about them, but I do like how they look.

    A tetradrachm (unfortunately worn in such a way I cannot say if Siva is "ithyphallic"). I cribbed the legends from online sources, so the Greek/Kharosthi legends are approximate only:

    Kushan Vima Kadphises Tet May 2020a (0a2).jpg
    Kushan Kingdom Æ Tetradrachm
    Vima Kadphises
    (c. 100-128 A.D.)

    BACIΛEYC BACIΛEWN CWTHP MEΓAC OOHMO KAΔΦICHC, King standing sacrificing at fire altar, club, tamgha & axehead-shafted trident in fields, Greek legend around / maharajasa rajadirajasa sarvaloga isvarasa mahisvarasa Vima Kathphishasa tratara, Siva standing with trident & deerskin, bull Nandi right behind, Kharoshti legend.
    Göbl 762; MAC 3008.
    (17.19 grams / 26 x 24 mm)

    A somewhat scarce (so I've read) didrachm:

    Kushan - Didrachm bull Sep 2019z (0).jpg
    Kushan Kingdom Æ Didrachm
    Vima Kadphises
    (c. 100-128 A.D.)

    BACIΛEYC BACIΛEWN CWTHP MEΓAC OOHMO KAΔΦICHC, King standing sacrificing at fire altar, club, tamgha & axehead-shafted trident in fields, Greek legend around / maharajasa rajadirajasa sarvaloga isvarasa mahisvarasa Vima Kathphishasa tratara, Siva standing with trident & deerskin, bull Nandi right behind, Kharoshti legend.
    Göbl 763; MAC 3048-49.
    (8.66 grams / 20 mm)

    Coins India (coinindia.com): "...the rare di-drachm or half unit. These are hard to find."
     
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  4. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    Nice coins. The tetradrachms are quite common, but hard to find in a good state of preservation. The ithyphallic aspect (seen in your second coin) is usually the first to wear away and the first thing I see while evaluating these (wonder what Freud would say).

    I don’t think Oesho/Shiva is holding a deer-skin in the other hand. His hand is merely resting over the bull’s hump. I have a couple of better-preserved examples that show this clearly. Will post images later.
     
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  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Nice Tet, @Amit Vyas ...

    My only:

    KUSHAN

    upload_2021-1-13_10-6-32.png
    INDIA Kushan Empire
    Vima Takto-Soter Megas
    Æ Tet 21mm 8.5g
    CE 80-100
    scepter
    tamgha on horse r holding axe tamgha
    Senior B17.1vT
     
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  6. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    The other two I mentioned. On the second one, you can clearly make out Shiva’s mouschache and his hand resting over the bull’s hump.

    Kushan Dynasty: Vima Kadphises (c. 100-128 AD), AE Tetradrachm, First Bilingual series, Kapisa mint, Göbl 762, MAC 3008 (16.1 g, 26 mm)

    Obverse: King in Kushan dress, standing facing, head left, hand over altar at left, trident-battleaxe in left field, tamgha and (lateral) club in right field. Greek Legend BACIΛEYC BACIΛEWN (CWTHP MEΓA)C OOHM KAΔΦICHC (Basileus Basileon Sotir Megas Ooim Kadphisis) (King of Kings, Vima Kadphises, the Great Saviour)

    Reverse: Ithyphallic three-headed Lord Shiva, wearing necklace; sacred thread over left shoulder, trident in right hand; left hand resting on Nandi (bull) standing right behind, Buddhist triratana (“Three Jewels”) symbol to left. Around: Traces of corrupt Kharosthi legend “...logasa marasa Hima Kathphishasa tratasa”
    D741F0E3-9C64-4BC2-A1CC-82CE851F802B.jpeg

    Kushan Dynasty: Vima Kadphises (c. 100-128 AD), AE Tetradrachm, First Bilingual series, Kapisa mint, MACW 3017-3021 (16.59 g, 28 mm)

    Obverse: King in Kushan dress, standing facing, head left, sacrificing over altar at left, trident-battleaxe in left field, tamgha and medial club in right field. Crudely engraved, somewhat corrupt Greek legend BACIΛEYC BACIΛEWN CWTHP MEΓAC OOMX KAΔΦICHC (Basileus Basileon Sotir Megas Ooim Kadphisis) (King of Kings, Vima Kadphises, the Great Saviour)

    Reverse: Ithyphallic three-headed mustachioed Lord Shiva, wearing necklace; sacred thread over left shoulder, trident in right hand; left hand resting on the hump of saddled Nandi (bull) standing right behind, Buddhist triratana (“Three Jewels”) symbol to left. Around: Kharosthi legend “maharajasa (rajadhirajasa sarva)loga isvarasa mahisvarasa Hima Kathphishasa tratara(sa)” (Emperor, king of kings, Maheshwara, god of all realms, Vima Kadphises)
    B2B5189A-D245-4152-9FF2-1D56B883BF93.jpeg
     
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  7. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coins. I like Kushan coins, but need to spend more time with them, (all of my coins actually). I bought the group lot of coins published by the author of the new ANS book on Kushan coinage at the CNG auction. Whole box, I just stuck into the SDB after a quick glance. :(

    People from South Asia still remember the Kushan empire, or at least have cultural memory of them. They were instrumental in the region, and laid the groundwork for much of later Central Asian history. It is a culture under appreciated in most of the West. The gold coinage is simply spectacular. It is weird they had such a strong gold/copper bimetallic coinage when most of the rest of Central Asia was dominated by silver, (Persia).
     
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  8. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I don't collect South Asian coins but I picked these two up out a junk box of a shop a few years back whose owner didn't collect them either, so I got them cheap. I'm not entirely sure exactly what I have but I think they also Kushan, or perhaps some other kingdom from South Asia. The large one on the left seems to be bronze or copper but the small one may be a low silver, billon piece. Any help from those who do collect these coins much appreciated and I hesitate to ask this, but what do they realistically sell for. I ask that because they are out the fields I actively collect in. Also what kind of condition would they be for wear and strike? Thanks for any help.

    IMG_1884 (1)Ancient India obv.jpg IMG_1885Ancient India rev..jpg
     
  9. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I wasn't aware that Shiva was depicted as ithyphallic on these, but I see it's apparent on the gold. You can make it out somewhat on my example (I just didn't realize it before):

    Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 3.28.08 PM.jpg
     
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  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    two with club at an angle
    ob2050bb2768.jpg ob2060bb2014.jpg Club straight
    ob2130bb2449.jpg
     
  11. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Yep, to come clean, I had to google 'ithyphallic.' What you miss if you don't collect ancients....
     
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  12. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Roman Provincials are the series for ithyphallic. :D

    Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 5.05.19 PM.jpg
     
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  13. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    That is "impressive", but when I hear ithyphallic I always think of the satyr coins of Thasos.
     
  14. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    On both counts, it's like, Okay, if you're Into that sort of thing....
    (Oh No, I said "thing." A Beavis and Butthead moment if I ever saw one.)
     
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  15. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice coins!

    I bought mine for the exceptional obverse - just gotta find one with a nice reverse to make up for it!

    Can't tell if Shiva is ithyphallic, but Vima sure isn't!
    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-SkX6pkO8IvaHd0wq.jpg
     
  16. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Here is my Vima Kadphises AV Dinara
    Peshawar Mint 122e1ef80de73e8d5e90f3f9f887a62c.jpg
     
  17. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    The first coin is of the Kushan king Vima Taktho (Soter Megas) (c. AD 55-100), while the second is attributed to Indo-Scythian, Azes I, (57-35 BC) (AR drachm, Senior 90.53D).

    The prices can vary quite a bit depending on whether you encounter them in an auction setting, fully attributed, with nice photos, or lying neglected in the junk box of a dealer who does not specialize in them. I have no idea of grading.
     
  18. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    Wow, I never noticed this detail earlier (also clearly visible on dougsmit’s first specimen). I wonder if that is a belt tied around his waist with the knot dangling, or is he really parting his robe with the left hand to give us a glimpse of the crown jewels.
     
  19. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    Very nice specimen. The skin of the indistinct animal (variously described as an antelope/deer, a tiger, a he-goat, an elephant, or a lion) is rather peculiarly tied to his left arm in three knots. The object he is carrying in his left hand (sometimes wrongly described as a club) is a “kamandalu” (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamandalu).
     
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  20. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I appreciate that information.
     
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  21. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Always learn new things here on CT/ many thanks Amit Vyas:)
    John
     
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