KINGS of PARTHIA. Arsakes I.
|Sale: Triton XIII, Lot: 505. Estimate $500.
Closing Date: Monday, 4 January 2010.
Sold For $600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
247-211 BC. AR Drachm (3.92 g, 12h). Hekatompylos(?) mint. Head left, wearing bashlyk and earring, [within pelleted border] / APΣAKOY, archer (Arsakes I) seated right on backless throne, holding bow; A to right. Sellwood 5.1; A&S Type 5, 10 (same dies); Shore 3. Good VF, toned, obverse struck with typically worn die.
From the Todd A. Ballen Collection.
The history of Iran from the mid-4th to mid-3rd century BC is so poorly recorded that there is practically nothing known about any serious unrest or opposition to the Macedonian occupation for about eighty years after the fall of the Achaemenid Empire. Nonetheless, many scholars believe, but have not conclusively proven, that between 250-247 BC, a man of unknown antecedence called Arsakes (Arshak) led an invasion into the Seleukid satrapy of Parthia and slew her governor, Andragoras. The Sellwood S5 drachms, formerly attributed to Arsakes II, can now be added to the S1-4 drachms because of the extensive “muling” of their reverse dies with the obverses of the S3 and S4 drachms (as the present specimen; cf. The Gombaj Bujnurd Hoard (A&S)). The differences in the fabric and style of S5 and S3-S4 drachms and the presence of the monogram A, probably for the city of Asaac (mentioned by Isodore of Charax), strongly suggests that they are the products of at least two different mints.