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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Nandi with Lowered Head

CNG 91, Lot: 462. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $8255. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

INDIA, Kushan Empire. Vasudeva I. Circa AD 192-225. AV Dinar (21mm, 7.97 g, 12h). Mint II (B). 1st emission. ÞAOHAHOÞAO BAZOAhO KOÞAH O, Vasudeva standing facing, head left, flames on shoulder, sacrificing over altar and holding filleted and decorated trident / OÞhO (sic), Siva standing facing, holding diadem and trident; behind, the bull Nandi standing left with head lowered to right; tamgha to right; pellet between legs of Siva. MK 511 corr. (O3/R7) = FdS 276 corr. = Rosenfield 209 corr. (rev. legend incorrectly read); Cunningham 8 var. (rev. legend); Donum Burns –; CNG 79, 534 (same dies). Good VF, minor deposits. Extremely rare.

Based on its style and monogram links to the final phase of Huvishka’s coinage, this coin of Vasudeva I is among his first issues. The style of this coin is quite fine and descriptive with numerous specific details, such as the choice of outfit and the unusual design of the trident. Especially unusual is the reverse depiction of the bull Nandi with its lowered head; it is similar to a unique relief carving from Akhun-dheri, suggesting that the relief may have served as the model for the celator of this coin’s reverse (see Rosenfield, fig. 84).