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Gold pendant with designs copied from a Kushan coin and a Roman coin

Obverse (front)

  • Reverse

    Reverse

 

Diameter: 35.000 mm
Weight: 19.980 g

CM OR 5200

Room 68: Money

    Gold pendant with designs copied from a Kushan coin and a Roman coin

    Probably from north-western Pakistan, 4th century AD

    East meets West

    Although, at first sight, this pendant appears to be a single gold coin set in an ornamental mount, it is in fact a fantasy creation that links Rome with India. The portrait is derived from the coin designs of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great (reigned AD 307-37) and his sons (AD 337-61), and includes a blundered attempt at copying the name and titles of the emperor in Latin.

    The reverse shows the Kushan goddess of good fortune, Ardochsho, holding a cornucopia, and is copied from a Kushan design found on the coins of Kanishka I (reigned around AD 120-46) and an early issue of his successor, Huvishka (reigned around AD 146-84). The Bactrian inscription, written in Greek script and giving the name of the goddess, is again crudely copied.

    The provenance of this object is not known, but similar ornamental frames and other jewellery made from ancient imitations of Kushan coins are known from north-western Pakistan. This suggests that this pendant may have come from the same region.

    E. Errington and J. Cribb (eds), The Crossroads of Asia: transf (Cambridge, Ancient India and Iran Trust, 1992)

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    On display: Room 68: Money

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