Ancient Middle Eastern Coins

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Picture of Himyarite Kingdom (Modern day Yemen) Silver Coin

Himyarite Kingdom (Modern day Yemen) Silver Coin

The Himyarite Kingdom was part of ancient Yemen, whose capital was Zatar. They were a trading nation between East Africa and the Roman or Mediterranean world. They were known for their trade-in Frankincense and Myrrh and their geographical position made them very important for trade. This choice silver coin is a Scyphate Quinarius from the 1st or 2nd Century AD, so it is about 1800-1900 years old and was struck in Raidan. There is a portrait of a man on one side and a small portrait of a man on the other side. These coins are basically in as struck Mint condition, cup-shaped. We did find a similar coin on an American dealer list about two years ago. It was priced at $195.00 (£150) and had sold quite quickly. Our coins are as nice or better, but our price is far more attractive.
Luristan Bronze Mouflon 900 B.C

Luristan Bronze Mouflon 900 B.C.

We were searching our old stores again and found this small group of Ancient Luristan bronze ‘amulets’ in the form of a Mouflon from approximately 900 B.C. Mouflon are a wild sheep native to the Caspian region, thought to be the ancestor of all modern, domesticated sheep. Some others have been found clumped together near staff fittings suggesting these were ceremonial ornaments with multiple uses. They have a certificate of authenticity and a perfect attachment ring so can still be worn but require a cord which we will leave to you to decide so we can keep them affordable. A 3000 year old Mouflon bronze amulet for your collection or the perfect ‘different’ present for those who are interested in animals or the ancients!
Pacorus I (not II) A.D. 78-110. AR Drachm. GEF_obv

Pacorus I (not II) A.D. 78-110. AR Drachm. GEF

We used to know Pacorus (A.D. 78-110) of the Parthian Empire as ‘the Second’ because of a Pacorus recorded in 39 B.C. but recent scholarship indicates he was only ever a prince, not king! So, the later Pacorus is now known as Pacorus the First. Not confusing at all, right?! Well, the man now known as Pacorus the First had an interesting reign. He defeated two usurpers, he supported a Nero pretender against the Romans (eventually executing him), and he expanded long distance trade with China, convincing them not to travel to Rome, keeping them all to himself! He had a long and successful reign during which time Parthia was Rome’s major rival but he lasted from Vespasian to Trajan, five emperors’ worth of stability. We have bought a group of his artistic Silver Drachms. They show his diademed bust on the obverse with his pointed beard & on the reverse the first Parthian ruler (Arsaces I) shown with blundered Greek legend around. These coins are at least Good Extremely Fine with the majority being Mint state! We don’t see Parthian groups very often but if these sell well, we will have to try to get more rulers…
Sasanian Empire, Ṭabarestān, Phraates I, Silver Half Dirham_obv

Sasanian Empire, Ṭabarestān, Phraates I, Silver Half Dirham

When the Arabs conquered Iran, one small pocket of resistance held out in the mountains of Ṭabarestān, led by a governor of the province, a Sasanian prince. The area was named after the Tapurians who had been deported there by the Parthian king Phraates I and was famous for its silk fabrics. In the early 8th century (711-712), they began issuing these distinctive coins like those of the Sasanians but with half the weight. The coins have a portrait of a Sasanian emperor, to the right of the portrait is a ruler or governor’s name written in Pahlavi script. On the reverse there is a Zoroastrian fire altar with attendants on either side. Zoroastrianism was the first religion known to be practised in western Asiatic history. At the far left is the year of issue expressed in words, and at the right is the place of minting, TPWRSTʾN (Ṭabarestān). These coins are now around 1250 years old and are in wonderful condition.
Vima Kadphises - A.D. 100-128_obv

Vima Kadphises. 100-128 A.D.. AE. Tetradrachm. Good Very Fine

Kushan Kingdom. Vima Kadphises. 100-128 A.D.. AE. Tetradrachm. Obverse. The king standing to left sacrificing over an altar, a trident to left and a club to right. Reverse. Siva standing facing holding a trident, a humped Bull standing to right in the background. Good Very Fine and Scarce

Widow's Mite

This small bronze coin was the smallest coin in Jewish currency, issued ca 103-76BC. It is best known because of what Jesus Christ said about it. When a widow gave one as a gift for charity, a merchant made fun of her. Jesus said (Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1), ‘This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast in the treasury’. In other words, the Mite or Prutah meant more to that woman than the gold given by the rich man. We have a nice selection of these small, well circulated, and important bronze coins. Great as a gift as most people have heard of the fabled Widow’s Mite. Don’t expect them to be anything but a small crudely struck bronze coin, but do expect to have something that is rather important in history as well as in life.

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