Overstruck on a Seleukos I Head of Hero / Nike & Trophy Type
KINGS of PERSIS. Vādfradād (Autophradates) I.
|CNG 90, Lot: 788. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $1400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
3rd century BC. AR Tetradrachm (31mm, 16.77 g, 3h). Head right, with mustache and earring, wearing diadem and kyrbasia / Fire temple of Ahura-Mazda; above, half-figure of Ahura-Mazda; to left, Vādfradād standing right, bow set on ground before; standard to right. K&M 2/17; Alram 533; Sunrise -. Good VF, toned. Overstruck on a Susa mint tetradrachm of Seleukos I, head of hero / Nike & trophy type (SC 173.13; ESMS Tr. 82 [A55/P17]), with much of the undertype clearly visible.
Ex Baldwin’s 44 (2 May 2006), lot 105.
The undertype of this coin, a Susa mint head of hero / Nike & trophy type tetradrachm of Seleukos I, with many of the obverse and reverse details visible, has been dated by Houghton and Lorber to circa 305/4 -295 BC and provides a tentative terminus post quem for the revolt in Persis. In his discussion of the circulation pattern of the head of hero / Nike & trophy type coinage, Kritt (ESMS, p. 83), stated that at the time of his publication (1997) no Persis coins were known overstruck on Seleukos I trophy types. He does note, however, that examples of the type do appear in hoards found in Persis. Two of these hoards – the Persepolis Hoard (IGCH 1797) and the Frataraka Hoard (ESMS, pp. 132-7) – also included early coins of Persis. Based on the hoards, Kritt concluded that head of hero / Nike & trophy type coinage circulated principally into Persis. As this issue stopped almost immediately in 295 BC and no Susa mint issues struck after 295 BC have been found in Persis, when subsequent Susa mint issues began circulating westward, Kritt suggests 295 BC as the date of the revolt in Persis. The low survival rate of these head of hero / Nike & trophy issues, he posits, could be explained by the coins remaining in Persis being melted down or, as in the case of this coin, being overstruck by the fratarakā.