FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board

Numismatic and History Discussions => Parthian and Other Eastern Coins => Topic started by: dougsmit on April 16, 2019, 05:20:52 pm

Title: looking closely
Post by: dougsmit on April 16, 2019, 05:20:52 pm
We always hear about the faults in the Greek legends of Parthian coins but I can not remember seeing any Greek or Roman coin that had more detail in the letters than I see on this drachm of Sinatrukes.  I wonder just how common this is.  I do not have many high grade Parthian coins and such small details are not easily seen in ordinary whole coin photos.  I ask those with Parthian coins in high grade check your coins under magnification and report if this is standard for this period.  The enlarged section is the  :Greek_Beta: :Greek_Alpha: :GreeK_Sigma: from the upper left corner of the reverse.  The B is particularly interesting being constructed by three dots, a solid straight line and curves made of curved hash marks.  Letters on the coin that were a bit flatly struck look more normally constructed. 

If anyone sees similar engraving details on their coins, please post (preferably with photos). Our coins an reward looking closely with little surprises.

Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: Akropolis on April 16, 2019, 06:09:27 pm
Amazing photography!

Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: Jay GT4 on April 16, 2019, 07:47:08 pm
I wonder if there is a significance.  Never noticed anything like it.

Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: n.igma on April 16, 2019, 08:06:20 pm
A possibility to consider ....

Also the dots outlining the letters look unusually conical in form coming as they do to a point, rather than being hemispherical.

Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: Molinari on April 17, 2019, 05:31:16 am
I thought the marks on the fake report examples were indications of forgery because they were so regular and consistent, very much unlike Doug’s.  

Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on April 17, 2019, 02:54:08 pm
Doug's look like marks made by a graver. The shape of the dots would depend on the shape of the punch used to make them; I'm not sure we've got enough close-up pics to say how consistent they are.

Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: Michael C8 on April 17, 2019, 07:40:05 pm

Your coin has all the hallmarks of having been engraved by Sellwood's engraver C as identified in his classic die study [Sellwood, D. 1976. The Drachms of the Parthian "Dark Age". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1976 (1): 2-25.].

He generally characterizes engraver C's reverse style as: "Head in correct proportion but tending to jut forward. Bashlik cheekflap runs down parallel to upper arm, often reaching to elbow. Single diadem end converging with bashlik neckflap above throne. Arm definitely crooked at elbow on early issues but tending to become straight and horizontal with later ones. Sleeve ends in horizontal bar and extends almost to ground. Left thigh curves towards knee, and leg set back at 45°. Boot lace ends exaggerated and divergent. Throne back finishes at shoulder level or higher. Throne legs have three or four bulbs of even size, irregularly spaced. Ground line under archer's feet only and slopes markedly upwards to right. Omicron is small on early issues and pellet-shaped on later ones."

And specifically for the Type 33 drachms Sellwood adds: "Engraver C consistently mis-spells ΘΕΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ as ΘΕΟΠΑΤΡΟΥ." Your coin does indeed read ΘΕΟΠΑΤΡΟΥ.

Sellwood claims that engraver C was involved in engraving examples of Types 26, 27, 28, 29, 33, 31, and 34 drachms.

I can email you Sellwood's paper if you don't have access to it.


Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: quadrans on April 17, 2019, 11:22:06 pm
Interesting opinion, may I need that article...

Thank you,



Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: dougsmit on April 19, 2019, 07:44:47 pm
Thanks.  I need to see that article.  PM sent.

Title: Re: looking closely
Post by: dougsmit on April 20, 2019, 07:16:30 am
I had done a couple non-legend parts of he coin shown here but will needt find time to do the rest of the legends.