Sasanian coins. Reference works. Books and sale catalogs.

Books. Sale catalogs next.

I am not an expert on Sasanian coins, nor have I thoroughly searched for catalogs with a special emphasis on Sasanian coins. But, I have found some, listed here, and I have had some advice from Susan Tyler-Smith, who is a Sasanian coin expert. Thank you Sue! I solicit additional recommendations from readers.
    Sometimes the term is spelled with two s's, "Sassanian".  I have used one "s" as do most modern authors.  

Sale catalogs

New York Sale XXXVII (2016 Jan. 5-6) VHV. VHQP.  [Markov, Baldwin's M&M Numismatics Ltd., Goldberg] "The Sunrise Collection of Parthian, Persis, and Sasanian Coins" and the "Alexander White III Collection of Byzantine and Medieval Coins" .  229 Parthian, 113 Persis,  322 Sasanian,  91 Byz,  77+2 G,  4 Aksumite, 4 Merovingian, 3 Carolingian, 6 DA gold, 10 +17 Anglo-Saxon, 3 RR, 70 RI,  59 Byz, 35 ancient India, 45 Arabic
    229 Parthian, 113 Persis,  322 Sasanian

Peus 363  (4/00)  "2500 years of Persian Coinage, Sammlungen Konsul Meyer and Prof. Gobl"  21 early Persian, 50 Persis, 18 Elymais, 126 Parthian, 144 Sasanian, 12 Iranian Huns, 247 Arab-Sasanian (Wow!), 649 early Arabic (Wow! "One of the most important and extensive collections of the Islamic coinage of Persia in Europe"), on 54 ppl among 58.
    Persis (50), Elymais (18), Parthian (126), Sasanian (144), Iranian Huns (12), Arab-Sasanian (247, wow!), 649 early Arabic (649, wow!)
328    2-4 May 1990, lots 312-355: early Ardashir V/I; scarcer types of Ardashir I and Varhran II; fractional AR; gold.
349    2 Nov. 1996, lots 225-265: Hormizd I drachm and half drachm; two half drachms of Varhran I; gold; Khusrau II facing bust AR.
351    23-25 April 1997, lots 412-443: two bust types of Varhran II AR (2 different types).
361    3-6 Nov. 1999, lots 322-359: Ardashir I with Shapur I AR (Goebl 19); Ardashir I with eagle on tiara (G. 18); two bust types of Varhran II AR (2 different types).
366    25 Oct. 2000, lots 263-287: scarce types of Ardashir I; fractional AR.
368    25-28 April 2001, lots 264-402: scarce type of Ardashir I; scarce types of Shapur I including eagle-headed crown (G. 34); fractional AR; gold including Khusrau I dated year 21.

Malter 55 (1993, Nov. 7)  MV. MQP.  585 ancients on 19 ppl facing the descriptions. 255 G, 8 Parthian, 2 Elymais, 23 Persis, 104 Sasanian pictured and 185 not pictured among 289 (counts are of pictured lots).  A real collection of Sasanian.  It also has a 4-page article with 3 additonal plates of line drawings on "Representation techniques in Sasanian coinage" by Bahram Badiyi.
    Sasanian (104)   

Checking some recent CNG catalogs, it seems that every one has a small selection of unusual Sasanian coins.
Triton VII    13-14 Jan. 2004, lots 548-681: part of a collection. Good runs of gold and fractional AR; rare drachms; lots of nice coins!

Gorney 92  (11/98)  704 ancients among 2700 (+ 9 ppl of partially illustrated large lots). 311 G, 37 Parthian, 22 Sasanian, 59 RP, 231 R, 22 Byz, 4 fake sestertii.

Munz Zentrum (Cologne)
XXVII    3-5 Nov. 1976, lots 677-879: representative runs of AR; obol of Shapur III.
XLIII    27-30 April 1981, lots 761-863: Base metal (AE and lead); fractional AR; representative runs of AR.

The next, of Soethby's,  London, are thin green cardcovers, not glossy, 8 5/8" by 7 1/8".  Because not all coins are photographed, the counts may be of page plates rather than numbers of coins.
24 March 1983  "including Jewish and important Sasanian" (7 plates include 22 rare Sasanian including 9 obols)
17 November 1983  MV.  360 ancients on only 6 ppl.  Fine photographs. 2 ppl G, 2 ppl Sasanian, 2 Roman 
16-17 April 1985, lots 350-378: Gold; fractional AR.
21-22 Nov. 1985, lots 186-202: Interesting gold; fractional AU and AR.

Tkalec and Rauch (4/86)  MV. MQP. (This one is before the catalogs became superb)  554 ancients, photographed within text. 198 G, 7 Parthian and 35 Sasanian, 220 R, 27 Byz, 13 DA.

Spink, Numismatic Circular (3/94) 22 rare issues, (10/95) 23 pieces, (10/96) 25 pieces.

Markov #1 (2/15/95) has Sasanian-related coins: 6 Sasanian, 4 Chaganian, 9 Sogdian of Bukhara.  Some later issues have similar emphases.
Many Markov catalogs have Sasanian-related coins from central Asia.

Elsen 74 (6/03) 2 page plates of Parthian (45) and 6 of Sasanian (173). 

Classical Numismatic Review (fixed price list of CNG), XXVII (Summer 2002)  4-page article on Shapur I crown subvarieties and 54 Shapur I pieces for sale.



An Introduction to Sasanian Coins, by D. Sellwood, P. Whitting, & R. Williams. 1985. The standard comprehensive list and price guide. Small hardcover. 178 pages. 74 coins photographed plus a few plates and many line drawings.

Sasanian Numismatics, by Robert Go
bl, orginally in German, translated into English. 1971. 254 coins photographed on 16 plates plus 16 tables about mints and identification. 97 pages of text and one foldout map. There is lots of information here, but I am not the only one to find it incomprehensible. I have never figured out his tables work, and I find his text unilluminating.

Iranisches Personennamenbuch: Band IV, Nomina Propria Iranica in Nummmis, in two volumes, one huge hardcover (16 3/4" by 12" and 1 1/2" thick) of text and one cardcover (same size, but thin) of plates, by Michael Alram. 1986. Expensive. 137 Sasanian coins photographed. This authoritative work is not designed especially for numismatists (for example, it does not give weights), but has come to be the standard work on coins of Persis, and it has up-to-date attributions and spellings of the King's names that have begun to replace older spellings. It is not at all a price guide, but an attribution guide. It is comprehensive for coins with ancient Iranian scripts, not just Sasanian and coins of Persis, but also Parthia, etc.

Greek, Semitic, Asiatic Coins and How to Read Them, by Richard Plant, 1979, includes a 13-page chapter on how to read Sasanian coins. Hardcover, 257 pages.

Numismatic Chronicle, 1993, pages 227-269. "A Survey of Research on Sasanian Numismatics" by Hodge Mehdi Malek.  A majar review of recent advances in the study of Sasanian coins, including reign-by-reign comments, a list of  mintmarks and their cities, and a comprehensive list of references. This work is essential for an up-to-date understanding of Sasanian coins.

Oriental Coins and Their Values: The Ancient and Classical World, by Michael Mitchner, 1978, is a huge (and expensive) volume with 61 pages on the Sasanians and many more on related coinages. About 400 Sasanian coins photographed. The listed prices are out-of-date -- actually they are often far too high because the supply has increased dramatically since 1978.



Malek, Hodge Mehdi. "A survey of research on Sasanian numismatics," Numismatic Chronicle 163 (2003) 227-269, pl.37

Schindel, Nikolaus. "Sasanian mint abbreviations: the evidence of style," Numismatic Chronicle 165 (2005) 287-299, pl.38-39

Malek, Hodge Mehdi / Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh: History and coinage of the Sasanian queen Bōrān (AD 629-631)," Numismatic Chronicle 158 (1998) 113-129, pl.33-37


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