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Collections of Parthian Coins


In addition to the virtual collection of 3222 Parthian coins pictured on this web site, you can also find photos of Parthian coins in these collections. Please use the feedback page to suggest additions to this list.

Quick links to collections on Parthia.com

The Parthian Coinage (1877)
Ballen Collection
Gonnella Collection
Lynn Collection
Rian Thum Collection
Sellwood 1989
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Collections

Afghanistan National Museum -- Darulaman, six miles south of Kabul. Sadly, the state of the collection is unknown due to war preceding the Taliban occupation of Kabul and looting during the Taliban rule. There is a pre-war unofficial web site. Also see "Museum Under Siege" by Nancy Hatch Dupree in Archaeology, Vol. 49, No. 2, March/April 1996 and the 1998 update. Some of the treasures have been preserved in photographs at the web site on Lost and Stolen Images: Afghanistan. Another web site with photos of the antiquities of Afghanistan is found at Afghanistan 1969-1974

Mesrop Abgarians -- cataloged in Sale Catalog -- Auction 51 -- Ancient Coins and Antiquities from the Chris J. Krausz and Dr. Mesrop Abgarians Estates, 1 June 1993, Malter & Co.

Allotte de la Fuÿe -- cataloged in the L. Ciani et J. Florange sale, Monnaies grecques provenant des collections de Colonel Allotte de la Fuÿe, 17-21 Feb 1925

American Numismatic Society
-- Coin Cabinet, New York City. The database contains 557,570 records of which about 2,093 are Parthian coins or related to Parthia, that may be found through the Parthian Coins in the ANS Database page. Also see Nancy M. Waggoner, "The Coinage of Phraates III of Parthia: Addenda" (1973) for a discussion of three important Parthian coins in this collection. See the ANS online catalog for the complete database, which includes some Roman coins with references to Parthia

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology -- Oxford, England. Heberden Coin Room. Includes the recently acquired Parthian and Indo-Parthian collection of R. C. Senior.
 
The Asiatic Society Museum, Calcutta, India -- While the most important and representative coins of the Society's cabinet were transferred to the Indian Museum in 1866, even after the transfer the Asiatic Society has a sizeable number of coins. The pre-Muslim coins have been classified.
 
Muhammad Riaz Babar -- O. Bopearachchi was able to examine and photograph a small hoard of Parthian and Indo-Parthian silver drachms made available by Mr. Babar. See Grenet & Bopearachchi, "Une Nouvelle Monnaie en or d'Abdagases II --Appendix" (1999)
 
Todd A. Ballen -- 415 coins including 394 from Parthia, 5 from Elymais and 16 from Persis cataloged in the Classical Numismatic Group's Triton XIII auction, 5 Jan 2009.

Bank Sepah  -- Located within the central building of Sepah Bank, Tehran, the Coin Museum was built in 1962. Following the Islamic Revolution, it was closed for six years.  This museum advertises that it contains ancient coins from all over the world, including Iranian coins from the Achaemenid Empire to the Islamic Republic, as well as Phoenician, Babylonian, Indian coins, etc.
 
Beit al-Amani Museum, Zanzibar -- A coin find in Zanzibar included Parthian and Sassanian coins. These are described by G. S. P. Freeman-Grenville, "Some Recent archaeological Works on the Tanganyika Coast" in Man, vol. 58 (1958), pp. 106-112.
 
The Bellaria Collection of Parthian, Sasanian and Related Kingdoms -- Contains 193 single lots of Parthian or Parthia-related coins in The Bellaria Collection of Parthian, Sasanian and Related Kingdoms. Also several group lots of Parthian coins. A major reference with cataloging notes proposing a new, but unaccepted, chronology for Parthian attributions. See Classical Numismatic Group catalogs Triton VII (Jan 2004) and CNG Mail Bid Sale 66 (Spring 2004).

Bern Historical Museum -- Cataloged by Kapossy, "Konkordanz zum Katalog der parthischen Münzen in Bern", Schweizer Münzblätter, vol. 22, no. 86 (May 1972)

Burton Y. Berry
-- cataloged in the SNG American Numismatic Society, 1961 [included in the SNG index on this site]. Collection was donated to the American Numismatic Society. Has only one Parthian coin, a Vologases II tetradrachm. Also see Ancient Greek Coins from the collection of Burton Y. Berry by Robert Hohfelder.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France -- Cabinet des Médailles, Paris. Includes a drachm of the "delta" issue, cf. Waggoner, "The Coinage of Phraates III of Parthia: Addenda" (1973), p. 20, note 16. The Cabinet also includes one of five known examples of Quintus Labienus' PARTICVS IMP aureus

Bibliothèque Royale, Belgium
-- Cabinet des Médailles, Brussels. Many of the Parthian coins from this collection were cataloged by curator François de Callataÿ in Les tétradrachmes d'Orodès II et de Phraate IV : étude du rythme de leur production monétaire à la lumière d'une grande trouvaille (1994).

O. Bolshakov -- private collector whose coins were studied and published in Loginov and Nikitin, "Parthian Coins from Margiana" (1996)

British Museum
-- Department of Coins and Medals, London. See Wroth, Catalogue of the Coins of Parthia,  and also Nikitin, "Early Parthian Coins from Margiana," 1998, which includes plates of BM inventory nos. 1920.6.II.314. The BM collection also includes one of five known examples of Quintus Labienus' PARTICVS IMP aureus.

Civiche Raccolte Numismatische, Milan -- Parthian coins in this collection are catalogued in  Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. Italiae, vol. 12. Syria-Bactria et India, part 4: Judaea-Bactria et India (1991).

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge -- SNG Great Britain. The Lewis Collection in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Part I [included in the SNG index on this site]

Danish National Museum -- The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Copenhagen, cataloged in SNG Copenhagen [included in the SNG index on this site]

Norman Davis -- see the NFA sale catalog Ancient Coins including Greek coins from the Norman Davis collection with prices realized, 8 Dec 1982

Neilson C. Debevoise -- author of A Political History of Parthia (1938) which includes as its frontispiece the obverse of a Mithradates II drachm from the author's collection

Howard D. Gibbs -- cataloged in the Hans M. F. Schulman auction The Coin and Primitive Money Collection of the estate of Howard D. Gibbs (Parts I, II, III, and IV), 1970-1971

Prof. Dr. Robert Göbl -- cataloged in his important books (see bibliography). A portion was stolen before his death in 1997, but fortunately the most valuable Parthian coins were safely stored, then catalogued when they came to auction in Dr. Busso Peus Nachf., Katalog 363, 26 Apr 2000

Dr. Robert Gonnella -- The Gonnella Collection of 904 Parthian coins, without a doubt one of the largest and most important private collections of its kind. Larger than the Shore collection, it is especially notable because the entire collection has been photographed, including the bronze coins, many of them rare and previously unpublished. The collection was sold in the Peus Auktion 388 in November 2006. Portions cataloged in Dr. Busso Peus Nachf., Katalog 388, 1 Nov 2006

Fitzwilliam Museum -- Cambridge, England, Department of Coins and Medals. See the Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Vol. III

Gibbs - Schulman (Gibbs I - IV)
Hans M. F. Schulman auction The Coin and Primitive Money Collection of the estate of Howard D. Gibbs (Parts I, II, III, and IV), 1970-1971

Georgian State Museum, Tbilisi -- cataloged by Abramisvili in Katalog parfianskikh monet Gosudarstvennogo muzeia Gruzii (1974). Plates of poor to fair quality illustrate 504 Parthian and 39 Elymais coins. Most recently, Medea Sherozia & Jean-Marc Doyen document 574 Parthian coins on 21 plates in Les monnaies parthes du musée de Tbilissi (Géorgie), Moneta 62 (2007).

Getty Museum
-- Los Angeles. Collection contains the Parthian coins discussed in A Hoard of Coins from Eastern Parthia by Heidemarie Koch

Dr. Robert Göbl -- Dr. Busso Peus Nachf., Katalog 363, 26 Apr 2000, Münzen aus den Sammlungen Konsul Meyer, Prof. Dr. Robert Göbl u. a., "Sammlung 2500 Jahre persische Müzgeschichte" Peus 363 (Apr 2000)

Dr. Robert Gonnella -- The Gonnella collection includes 904 Parthian coins. One of the largest and most important private collections of Parthian coins. Larger than the Shore collection, it is especially notable because the entire collection has been photographed, including the bronze coins, many of them rare and previously unpublished. Dr. Busso Peus Nachf., Katalog 388, 1 Nov 2006.  Peus 388 (2006)

Harding -- see the Hans M. F. Schulman sale, Harding Collection of Ancient Coins & Antiquities. 10-13 Oct 1972

H. L. Haughton -- cataloged in Sotheby's auction, Catalogue of a valuable collection of coins, chiefly of Alexander the Great, his successors in North-West India, and of the Seleucid kings of Syria, formed by the late Major-General H. L. Haughton, April 1958; also see Haughton's article in Numismatic Chronicle (1943), pp. 54, 59

Ernst Herzfeld -- 240 of Herzfeld's Parthian coins are cataloged in the Grunthal & Gans auction Ernst Herzfeld and A. Orlowski Collections, Mail bid sale No. 3, 25 March 1947

Hirayama -- partially documented in Silk Road Coins: The Hirayama Collection

Lucien de Hirsch --  19th century collection cataloged by Paul Naster in La collection Lucien de Hirsch; catalogue des monnaies grecques (1959) and in the Hess sale catalog when the collection came to auction, Antique Münzen (from the collection of J. Hirsch), 1957

Hermitage Museum -- St. Petersburg. A few coins are cataloged in Nikitin, "Early Parthian Coins from Margiana" (1998) which includes plates of inventory nos. 19912, 20642, 20928, and 35156

Historical Museum -- Moscow. See Nikitin, "Early Parthian Coins from Margiana" (1998) which includes plates of inventory no. 454643

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology -- Ann Arbor, Michigan. Includes Parthian coins from Seleucia on the Tigris

V. Kucherov -- nine Parthian coins photographed for E. Rtveladze, The Ancient Coins of Central Asia (1987)
 
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna -- The Numismatic Collection owes its existence to the collecting activities of the Habsburgs. With some 700,000 objects from three millennia, it includes not only coins, but also paper money, medals, orders and other items, including a very important Parthian collection
 
Arthur Löbbecke -- collector who sold his 28,000-coin collection in 1906 to the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Münzkabinett. Unfortunately, no sale catalogue exists of the approximately 400 Parthian coins included in the sale.

Lockett Collection
-- cataloged in SNG Great Britain, Volume III [included in the SNG index on this site]
 
Aloysius Lynn Collection -- the Aloysius Lynn Collection of Ancient Coins is comprised of 4,000+ coins of remarkable quality which contains 42 Roman and 44 Parthian coins. Dispersal of the collection is spread across four auctions: Helios Numismatik Auktion 4 (14 Oct 2009), Freeman & Sear Mail Bid Sale 17 (15 Dec 2009), Freeman & Sear Manhattan Sale (5 Jan 2010), and the Freeman & Sear MBS 18 slated for early Spring 2010. Several coins from the Lynn collection also appeared in the Classical Numismatic Group online coin shop in Jan 2010 and another group of 19 Parthian coins from the Lynn collection appeared on the Freeman & Sear web site in an E-Auction that closed 30 Mar 2010.

Thomas Olive Mabbott -- see the Hans M. F. Schulman sale catalog, The Thomas Olive Mabbott Collection, Parts I, IV and V. (several sales, 1969-1970)

Thomas K. Mallon --
see The Coins and History of Asia, a superb numismatic web site displaying pictures of a comprehensive range of coinages with many excellent examples from Parthia and other central Asian kingdoms from T.K. Mallon's personal collection.

Manchester University Museum -- The Raby and Güterbock Collections, cataloged in SNG Great Britain, Volume VII [included in the SNG index on this site]

Charles Masson -- cataloged in "Coins collected by Charles Masson in Afghanistan" by Sanjay Garg

John Robinson McClean -- collection donated to the Fitzwilliam Museum; see Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Vol. III, 1929

Museo Civico di Torino
 
Museum of the History of Azerbaijan -- the Museum's collection numbers upwards of 100,000 items, with Parthian coins an important part
 
National Bank of Uzbekistan -- Tashkent. The Bank started collecting coins in 1997, mainly purchasing numismatic rarities from individuals. Today, the Bank has more than 1,500 coins representing all main epochs of money system formation in the region, starting from 4-5 centuries BC to the present. Collection, including some Parthian coins, partially documented in Catalog of Antique and Medieval coins of Central Asia, volumes 1 to 4 (Tashkent, 1999)
 
National Museum of Iran -- Coins and Seals Collection holds many Parthian coins, but none illustrated online

Edward T. Newell
-- this important collection was donated to the American Numismatic Society. Newell documented a portion of his collection in "The Coinage of the Parthians" in Pope's A Survey of Persian art from prehistoric times to the present

Cal Orton -- see the Schulman Coin & Mint sale catalogs for The Cal Orton Collection Sale, 26-28 Feb & 1 Mar 1973 and The Cal Orton Supplement Auction of Ancient Coins, 19-20 Mar 1973

Peshawar Museum
-- partially cataloged in Pre-Kushana coins in Pakistan, 1995

Gordon Marshall Petersen
(1921-1996) -- His Parthian coin collection was donated to the University of Wales, Swansea where they may be seen.

Alexander Ritter von Petrowicz
-- cataloged in Arsaciden-Münzen. Sammlung Petrowicz - Katalog mit 25 lichtdruktafeln, and further documented when it was sold at auction in Ars Classica XII: Catalogue de Monnaies Grecques et Romaines Composant les Collections de feu E. Bisson, de Jules Wertheim, de Sir John Evans, de la Serie Parthe de feu Alexandre de Petrowicz. 18-23 October 1926
 
Colin E. Pitchfork -- Australian collector who accumulated much of the Fred Shore collection plus many other important pieces. Catalogued when sold in the Noble Numismatics Pty. Ltd. Sale No. 52, Important Australian Coins and Banknotes together with Ancient and World Coins and Military Medals including the collection of Parthian Coins formed by Colin E. Pitchfork. Sydney, Australia, 13-15 Nov 1996
 
Princeton University -- The numismatic collection at Princeton goes back to 1849. Click here for the description of the collection's documentation.
Tray #21: Persia; Parthia I, through Pacorus II (10 Achaemenid; 82 Parthian drachms and 1 tetradrachm; many unstudied small Parthian bronzes. Nearly all Parthian material was given by or purchased from J. Christy Wilson in the 1920s)
Tray #22: Parthian II: through Gotarzes (4 tetradrachms, 16 drachms, many small bronzes, as in Tray 21). Elymais (12, with 1 tetradrachm of Kamnaskires III and Anzaze), Persis (5), Characene (11)
Tray #24: Sassanian (140)

Baron A. von Prokesch-Osten -- cataloged in Les Monnaies des Rois Parthes de la collection de M. le Comte Prokesch-Osten, 1874. Supplemented by Alexis de Markoff, Les Monnaies des Rois Parthes. Supplement a l'ouvrage de M. le comte Prokesch-Osten, 1876. The Prokesch-Osten collection was the main basis for Percy Gardner's 1877 work, The Parthian Coinage (1877).

Maurice D. Quam -- Richard A. Olson cataloged this collection in his 1968 dissertation "Studies in the coinage of the Arsacid rulers of Parthia from Mithradates I to Artavasdes," and used examples from Quam to illustrate "Greek Letter forms on the Parthian Drachms" in Visible Language, Winter, 1973. The collection is further documented in Olson's "The Maurice Quam Collection of Parthian Coins" (1974) and Malter Galleries' Auction of Ancient Coins And Antiquities - Greek Coins - Celts in Britain, 23 Nov 1997 (Auction 72); most of the coins in the Parthian section are from the Quam collection and were, as Olson tells us, purchased by Quam in Iran

Aman ur Rahman -- portions cataloged in Pre-Kushana coins in Pakistan, 1995

C. J. Rich -- a coin collection now in the British Museum, formed by the East India Company's Resident in Bagdad during the early 19th century. A portion comprised 2nd century A.D. coins of Characene (cf. Noe 679)

Charles J. Rodgers -- see Catalogue of the coins collected by Charles J. Rodgers and purchased by the Government of Panjab, 1893

David Sellwood
-- The world's leading authority on Parthian coins. Portions of his collection are cataloged and illustrated in An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia (1980) and many articles. See the bibliography

R. C. Senior -- amassed the largest and most comprehensive collection of this Indo-Scythic and Indo-Parthian coins ever made and it contains over 90% of all the known types. Notably, the collection also contains numerous Parthian coins and eastern issues with Parthian countermarks. His collection is now housed in the Ashmolean Museum's Heberden Coin Room.

Fred B. Shore
-- cataloged in Parthian Coins & History - Ten Dragons Against Rome, and further documented when it was sold at auction in the Classical Numismatic Group's A public & mail bid sale featuring the Fred B. Shore collection of Parthian coins... plus numerous other important consignments : December 5 & 6, 1995 (CNG 36)

Doug Smith's
Ancient Greek & Roman Coins is another superb site that has some excellent photographs of Parthian coins in his virtual cabinet. This site is notable for its interesting commentaries on many topics related to ancient coins, special treatises on obscure coin types and discussions on many aspects of numismatics

Smithsonian Institution -- Washington, D.C. In addition to their cabinet of Parthian coins in the National Numismatic Collection, the Smithsonian has a virtual exhibit of Parthian coins on the Internet -- Parthia: The Forgotten Empire. The history of Parthia is illustrated, through its coinage. This site has excellent maps and numerous photos of Parthian coins held in the National Numismatic Collection of the United States

 
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Münzkabinett -- has a large collection of Parthian coins, a few of which are available online. Renowned as one of the world's great coin collections, it includes 102,000 Greek coins, about 50,000 from ancient Rome, 160,00 European coins from the Middle Ages to modern times and 35,000 Oriental-Islamic coins. The official web site has a searchable database of a limited selection of its collections, but is difficult to use, so click here for an index to the Parthia and Parthia-related coins.
 
Col. Stacy -- The Asiatic Society of Calcutta purchased the "magnificent and representative collection" of Col. Stacy in 1859. The total contained 101 gold, 1842 silver and 4384 copper pieces. It included coins struck by the Greek, Indo-Greek, Saka-Pahlava, Parthian, Kushan and Sasanian kings besides tribal coins of ancient India, Gupta coins, the coins of the Hindu kings of Ohind and Islamic coins of a large variety.

Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. Great Britain
-- The collections of Greek (using the broad definition which includes Parthian) coins in the British Isles are published in volumes under the supervision of the British Academy, and most of them are now online, with more due soon. Collections already online with Parthian coins: [included in the SNG index on this site]
  •  SNG, Vol. 3, The Lockett Collection
  •  SNG, Vol. 6, The Lewis Collection in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Part I: The Greek and Hellenistic Coins (with Britain and Parthia)
  •  SNG, Vol. 7, Manchester University museum. The Raby and Güterbock collections
  •  SNG, Vol. 8, The Hart Collection, Blackburn Museum
 
G. P. Tate - 19th century British official in Afghanistan; partially documented in Edward J. Rapson (1904): "Ancient Coins Collected in Seistan by Mr. G.P. Tate", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1904, pp. 673-680

King Umberto II of Italy -- see the Hans M. F. Schulman sale catalog Coin, Metal and Jade Auction from the collections of H. M. King Umberto II of Italy et al., 6-9 Feb 1974

University of Glasgow
-- Hunterian Collection. See Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glasgow, Vol. 3

University of Wales, Swansea
-- The Parthian coin collection of Gordon Marshall Petersen (1921-1996) was donated to this university where they may be seen. His Roman coin collection was given to The James Logie Memorial Collection at the University of Canterbury.

G. Volchev
-- private collector whose coins were studied and published in Loginov and Nikitin, "Parthian Coins from Margiana" (1996)

Sir Hermann Weber -- cataloged in The Weber collection - Descriptive catalogue of the collection of Greek coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, 1922
 
J. Christy Wilson -- see the Princeton University collection described above

Charles H. Wolfe -- see the CNA auction catalog, Bronzes of Roman Egypt from the Kerry Keith Wetterstrom Collection (Part 1), Greek (Silver & Gold) Parthian Coins from the Charles H. Wolfe Collection (and other consignments), Greek Bronzes, Large offering of Greek Imperials, Roman Republican, Roman Imperial, Byzantine, Medieval, English, 1990

YuTAKE -- Nikitin, in his "Early Parthian Coins from Margiana," 1998, includes plates of inventory nos. 1065, 1294, 1312, and 1628
 
K. Zhurzhenko
-- private collector whose coins were studied and published in Loginov and Nikitin, "Parthian Coins from Margiana" (1996)
   

This page last updated 18 Mar 2010

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