Achaemenid Silver Siglos Pendant

£ 595.00

A Persian silver siglos pendant, featuring a siglos coin set in a modern 18ct gold frame, with a loop attached at the top for suspension. The frame displays a London hallmark, hand crafted by a Hatton garden jeweller. The front of the pendant features the coin’s obverse, which depicts the figure of the Great King facing right in a knielauf position, also known as kneeling-running stance. The kidaris on his head, a type of crown worn by Persian rulers in the Median and Achaemenid periods, reveals the figure’s royal status; however, Persian coinage likely showed a portrait of an idealised ruler, rather than a true portrait of the ruling king. The figure is dressed in a kandys, a long sleeved cloak worn by men in the Persian Empire, which was later adopted in Greek fashion and transformed into a garment typically worn by Athenian women. The naturalistically rendered folds seen on the drapery allow to place the coin within the type IIIb sigloi, dating to the Xerxes I – Darius II period. The king holds a long lance in his right hand, pointing to the ground, and a bow in his left, now mostly smoothen out by wear. The reverse shows a simple, irregular punch mark and an X-shaped countermark to the left.

Please be aware that the chain is for reference only, we do have chains available upon enquiry.

Date: Circa 485 - 420 BC
Condition: Fine condition.


SKU: MG-243 Category: Tag:

The Achaemenid Empire rose from a strong military and political background which differed to the traditional Mesopotamian kingdoms. At its peak, it had the most expansive territory in history, on account of which it embraced a fusion of various languages, religions, and cultures. With the defeat of king Croesus and the conquest of Lydia, Cyrus the Great adopted the region’s coinage, the starter, and began minting posthumous Croeseid half-staters, whose weight would later become the standard for the Persian sigloi.

Changes to the Achaemenid Imperial coinage were introduced with the reign of Darius I (522 – 486 BC), during which the minting of staters was progressively replaced by gold Darics (δαρεικός – dareikos) and silver Sigloi (σίγλοι), as well as smaller denominations of both. The minting process was simplified and the double reverse punch seen on Lydian coinage was replaced by a single, oblong reverse punch on both Darics and Sigloi. The coins’ obverse showed the image of the Great King presented in the Knielauf scheme, holding a bow in his left hand. Accordingly, the Greeks referred to the Achaemenid coinage as toxotai (τοξόται – archers). The ‘archer’ type is also seen on contemporary Cypriotic coins, which depicted a kneeling-running Herakles holding a bow, but is also a well established iconography in Sumerian art, which allowed an easily understandable glorification of the Achaemenid rulers to all provinces of the Empire

Weight 7.86 g
Dimensions L 2.3 x W 1.4 x H 0.5 cm




Reference: For a similar item, please see The British Museum, item 1948,1202.7

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