Arabia - Qataban.
A unique coin struck in Arabia over 2000 years ago.
Yad'ab Dhubyan Yuhargib, circa 155-135 BC. Silver Tetradrachm. Bare head to the right, name and titles in South Arabian letters around / Bearded head with hair tied around ending in a knot, to the right, name and titles in South Arabian letters around. 16,25g. Huth & van Alfen -; Huth collection - (cf. 358-359 Hemidrachms).
A masterpiece of Arabian art. Extremely fine.
From the auction NGSA 8 (24-25 November 2014) 274.
A pre-Islamic coin, of the greatest rarity and historical significance. In their study “Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms” (ANS – Numismatic Studies 25, 2010), Huth and van Alfen recorded only small silver coins (hemidrachms) weighing less than 2 grams. This large silver tetradrachm of 16,25 grams gives evidence of the existence of an important trade on Arabian soil, more than 2000 years ago. Moreover, the design of this coin is original and very far from the crude imitative coins modeled after the Athenian owls struck previously in Arabia. The issue of such a large and elegant coin would have been only possible in a centralized and highly organized state with an original and strong cultural identity.