KINGS OF ARMENIA. Artaxias I, 190-160 BC. Dichalkon (Copper, 16 mm, 3.85 g, 12 h), first series, with Aramaic legends. 𐡓𐡕𐡇𐡔𐡎𐡉Ϟ - Ϟ𐡌𐡋𐡁 ('rthṣsy mlk' in Aramaic) Head of Artaxias I to left, bearded and wearing upright diademed bashlyk with five peaks. Rev. Male head to right. Kovacs 38 (same dies). Extremely rare. A surprisingly clear example of this usually crude issue. Somewhat rough and with some light cleaning marks on the reverse, otherwise, very fine.
From an important collection of Armenian coins.
Artaxias I declared his independence from the Seleukids following the defeat of Antiochos III 'the Great' by the Romans in the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC. His initial output of coins is of rather crude fabric and bears Aramaic legends, but he later changed to a more refined, Hellenized coinage with Greek titles and legends (see below, lot 132).