India, Kushan Empire, uncertain mint
Shaka, facing left, wearing diadem and tall jewelled conical hat, sacrificing over altar and holding ribboned staff; ribboned trident to left; bhi in Brahmi to right of altar, sita in Brahmi below arm, shaka to outer right
Ardochsho on high-backed throne with ornate legs, facing, holding diadem in right hand and cradling cornucopia in left arm; tamgha to left
19.15mm, 7.40 g, 12h
aVF, toned, areas of weak strike at periphery, mounting loop remnants
ex Classical Numismatic Group: eAuction 408 (25 October 2017), Lot 296; eAuction 389 (18 January 2017), Lot 435
A surprisingly affordable example of gold coinage from the Kushan Empire.
The Kushan empire was formed by Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. It stretched to encompass the entire northern subcontinent of India and includes what is today Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Kushans used the Baktrian language, employing the use of Greek script to write Baktrian - as evidenced in their coinage. Shaka is thought to have been the name of the Kushan emperor who succeeded Vasudeva II. Not much else is known about Shaka.