Parthicus Presents: Top 10 of 2021

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Parthicus, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I'm still feasting on Thanksgiving leftovers, but here on the Coin Talk Ancients board it's already time for our annual Top 10 lists. While I missed out on some coins I had hoped for, and prices in general have risen significantly, I managed to add some types to my collection that I had been seeking for quite a while, and I was even able to make it to a coin show for the first time in two years. Two of the coins listed below were just purchased at the Baltimore show last week and I haven't had a chance to write them up yet, and one coin I won at a foreign auction is still in transit; for the rest, I've included links to my original posts in case you want to know more. As usual, the ranking is somewhat arbitrary, except that the first three would constitute my Top 3 of the year.

    Vonones I tetradrachm.jpg
    1. Parthian Kingdom. AR tetradrachm of Vonones I (8-12 AD). Scarce coin of an interesting Parthian king, made even more desirable for being overstruck on a coin of his predecessors (and murderers of Vonones' father) Phraatakes and Musa. Original thread:

    2. Afrighids. AR drachm of Azkajwar-Abdallah with vizier Dhu'l Ri'asatayn (c.812-821 AD). I've long sought one of the distinctive coins issued by this little-known Central Asian dynasty, and this year I finally managed one (they tend to get snapped up quickly at auction). Original thread:

    Numidia Juba I.jpg
    3. Numidia. AR drachm of Juba I (60-46 BC). A very distinctive portrait style, and a historical relic of an independent North African ruler who supported Pompey in the Roman Civil War against Julius Caesar (spoiler alert: it didn't end well for Pompey or Juba). Original thread:

    4. Lycian Dynasts. AR diobol of Mithrapata (c. 390-380 BC). A pleasant little coin of a vassal of the Achaemenid Persians, but what really attracted me to the coin was its use of a now-extinct language family called Luwian. Original thread:

    Arab-Sasanian AE orans.jpg
    5. Arab-Sasanian. AE pashiz (75-95 AH/ 694-713 AD). The reverse of this coin shows a standing human figure with greatly enlarged hand, an artistic convention known as an Orans figure that is supposed to represent praying. One of the more interesting Arab-Sasanian pictorial types. Original thread:

    Vahram II family.jpg
    6. Sasanian Kingdom. AR drachm of Vahram II (c.276-293 AD). A very popular Sasanian obverse type, showing the king with his queen and young prince. Original thread:

    Pakoros AE amphora.jpg
    7. Parthian Kingdom. AE chalks of Pakoros (78-c.120 AD). The scarcer, early portrait style of Pakoros which shows him without a beard. Just a nice, high-grade Parthian bronze, and there's nothing wrong with that. Original thread:

    Orodes II Tyche.jpg
    8. Parthian Kingdom. AE dichalkoi of Orodes II (57-38 BC). The reverse shows the head of Tyche, a common type for Parthian bronzes. But this Tyche has the derpiest derp-face that ever derped. Seller's photo, as the coin is still in the international shipping process; full write-up to come eventually.

    Orodes II Traxiane.jpg
    9. Parthian Kingdom. AR drachm (possible fourree?) of Orodes II (57-38 BC). The portrait is a nice artistic style, the mintmark (Traxiane) is rare, and the coin shows signs of being a fourree. What's not to like? Bought at the Baltimore show last week, write-up to come.

    Seljuqs of Rum AE.jpg
    10. Seljuqs of Rum. AE fals. An attractive Islamic figural type, showing a horseman on obverse, that I've sought for a while. This was sold as a coin of Kaykhusraw I, but the large flan size is more typical of Sulayman II. A coin deserving of more research. Bought last week at the Baltimore show, full write-up to come when it's ready.

    So, there's my Top 10 for 2021. What was your favorite? Let me know down below.
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  3. kirispupis

    kirispupis Supporter! Supporter

    Beautiful coins! I'd have to rank the Afrighids coin the top, since it has an obvious history of being worn. If that coin could only talk...

    I spent some time in Khiva, which isn't far from that area. Here's a few photos I took ten years ago.


  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    @Parthicus, thank you for your many informative and entertaining presentations! My absolute favorite is your #1. Scarce king, and overstruck on a coin of the people who killed his father? How much drama can one coin contain? :D
  5. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Fantastic set of coins, all interesting in there own right, but I like your Vahram II the most, congrats on a great year of collecting.
  6. Spaniard

    Spaniard Supporter! Supporter

    What an interesting group @Parthicus.....Some really difficult rulers and types!
    Particularly like the little beardless Pakoros, that lovely Juba portrait and the very difficult to acquire Afrighids Drachm!....Congrats on a very fruitful year.
  7. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    Nice selection! The Juba coin is the one closest to my own collecting interests.

  8. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Parthicus, A fascinating group of coins :happy:! The over-struck Tet, #1 is my favorite, followed by #6, the Sasanian drachm, & 3rd place goes to #9, the Orodes II drachm. This coin may be just an ancient counterfeit ;).
  9. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    @Parthicus looks like you had an interesting year.
    My favorite is the Juba / Octastyle Temple coins. It is the closest to a RR coin.
    My second is the drachm of Vahram II. I like the reverse desiogn.
    We need to have #5 pray for us.
  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    My favorite by far is the overstrike. Regarding the fourree?: Parthian fourrees are rare. I am not sure yours is one but possibly a sign that standards at this rare mint were not up to mainstream standards. I am enamored with the theory that Parthian fourrees like my Mithradates I were overstruck on roman coins and the Parthian mint did not recognize the coin mixed in with others was plated. The coin was struck hard enough to flatten out all signs of undertype if there were any.
    TIF, Curtisimo, TheRed and 5 others like this.
  11. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Congratulations with these additions to your collection this year. Although beyond my collecting interests, I did read your write up of coin no. 1. Who doesn't love a good game-of-thrones-like story, right? :) I also like the portrait of no 3, very distinctive indeed.
  12. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice selections, @Parthicus :)

    #5 and #6 are my favorites. Interesting to know the meaning behind an enlarged hand in #5.
  13. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Very nice coins. #1 and #4 are my favorites.
  14. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    My favourite? #6, the Vahram II drachm...

    Some day, I'll upgrade my Shapur I drachm :
    normal_Shapur I dirham.jpg
    and I'll visit Iran again !...

    (here my then teenager with Shapur in his grotto, many years ago...)
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
  15. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Supporter! Supporter

    These "exotic" top 10s from people collecting in other areas than I do are fascinating to me, and mind openers : thanks !

    Curtisimo likes this.
  16. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    My favorite is AR drachm of Juba I (60-46 BC), interesting coin and attractive even OC. I like your choices and overall Nice additions. Congratulations.
  17. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    I’m catching up with reading the lists that have been posted and I really enjoyed this top list. I agree with your top 3. The tetradrachm of Vonones and overstrike on his fathers killers is my stand out favorite. Great year Parthicus!
  18. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    My favorites are nos. 3 (Juba/Numidia) & 4 (Lycia).
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