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CNG Feature Auction 114

Lot nuber 462

KINGS of CHARACENE. Hyspaosines. Circa 128/7-124 BC. AR Tetradrachm (31mm, 15.57 g, 12h). Posthumous issue under Apodakos. Charax-Spasinu mint. Dated SE 191 (122/1 BC).


CNG Feature Auction 114
Lot: 462.
 Estimated: $ 500

Oriental Greek, Silver

Sold For $ 750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

KINGS of CHARACENE. Hyspaosines. Circa 128/7-124 BC. AR Tetradrachm (31mm, 15.57 g, 12h). Posthumous issue under Apodakos. Charax-Spasinu mint. Dated SE 191 (122/1 BC). Diademed head right / Herakles seated left on rock, holding club on knee; monogram to outer left, A(koppa)P (date) in exergue. Assar fig. 17; Alram 491; De Morgan 1 and pl. XL, 1 var. (date listed as SE 188, but illustration SE 190); Sunrise –. A few cleaning marks. VF. Very rare.

Hyspaosines was the charismatic founder of an Arab principality in Charax (now in southeastern Iraq at the head of the Persian Gulf), with its capital based at the ancient city of Alexandria-Antioch renamed as Charax-Spinasu (probably near modern Basra). Hyspaosines spent much of his reign fighting against the Parthians, allying himself as circumstances dictated with the Elymaeans and the Seleukids. We know from a cuneiform inscription that he extended his control for a time as far as Babylon, and one remarkable and unique coin (this specimen), bearing the same magistrate monograms as Phraates II, demonstrates that Hyspaosines took control of the city of Seleukeia on the Tigris (about 30 km south of Baghdad) and struck coinage at its Parthian mint. Apart from this exceptional issue at Seleukeia, his coins were struck at Charax and dated to the Seleukid Era, with the following dates presently known: 184, 187, 188, 190, 191, and 192. All his coins are extremely rare. Hyspaosines died from illness in 188 SE (124 BC), but coins continued to be issued posthumously in his name while his wife served as regent for their young son. For further background and a detailed study of the cuneiform and numismatic evidence, see Dr. G.R.F. Assar, "Recent Studies in Parthian History: Part II," The Celator, vol. 15, no. 1 (January 2001), pp. 17-27, where the following coins are illustrated (but please note that these coins were not from the author’s collection as stated in The Celator).

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 114 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 13-14 May 2020. This lot is in Session 2, which begins 13 May 2020 at 2 PM ET.

UPDATE: As the CNG staff and many of our clients remain under social distancing and other restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNG 114 will be held as an internet only auction. The sale will take place as scheduled on 13-14 May 2020.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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