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Senior Collection Of Indo-Scythic Coins

       Over a period of 40 years R. C. Senior amassed the largest and most comprehensive collection of this series ever made and it contains over 90% of all the known coin types. RCS has written many articles on these coins and for nearly a decade has been working on a catalogue and history of the coinage. In December 1998 the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford was enabled to acquire the entire collection which, together with their existing collection of Bactrian and Indo-Greek coins, makes the Museum the leader in the study of ancient oriental coinages of north-western India.

       In total the Senior Collection comprises 5,600 coins, a great many of which are known from a single specimen or are very rare and no study of the Indo-Scythians would be complete without reference to it. It is highly unlikely that such a collection could ever be amassed again. A lifetime study of these coins has convinced the collector that, contrary to received wisdom, there was only one king called Azes - who died c.20 BC, that Gondophares I ruled c. 50 - 5 BC and that if St. Thomas did visit India then it was Gondophares-Sases he would have met c. 40 AD. These conclusions have a direct effect on the identification of the coinage of the Apracarajas, the chronology of the Kushan and of the Satraps who followed Azes. Notes on these and related topics have been published by the ONS over the years and will be fully covered in the aforementioned catalogue when it finally comes to print.

       The Ashmolean is refurbishing the entrance to the Heberden Coin Room and when this is completed, a selection from the Senior Collection will be exhibited there. A summary of the range of the collection is as follows:

Ruler / dynasty No. Ruler / dynasty No.
Maues 86 Sanabares drachms 76
Azilises 334 Pakores 97
Vonones group 144 Cheiroukes 2
Azes 1891 Later Indo-Parthian 55
Apracas / Aspavarma 256 "Arda Mitra" types 21
Gondophares-Sases 193 Paratarajas 36
Zeionises 61 Abhiraka 6
Misc. rulers 9 Bhumaka 24
Kharahostes family 65 Nahapana 73
Bhadrayasha 2 o/s Nahapana 24
Rajuvula family 65 Chastana 41
c/m Parthian etc. 57 other satraps 451
Saka 10 Miscellaneous 74
Early Saka / Sogdian 117 Tribal / city coins 120
Gondophares I 221 Punchmarked 165
Abdagases 152 Kushan 126
Duplicates Gond./Abd. 61 Parthian 98
Orthagnes / Gadana 61 Choresmian 30
Ybouzanes 8 Eastern Arabian 148
Sarpedanes 39 Other 100
Sanabares 8

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