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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Lrooaspo - Master of the Horse – Second Known - First in Auction

Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 378. Estimate $30000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 January 2008. 
Sold For $24000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

INDIA, Kushan Empire. Huvishka. Circa AD 152-192. AV Dinar (7.90 g, 12h). Mint A. 3rd emission. ÞAO[NANOÞA]-O OOHÞKI KOÞANO, nimbate, diademed, and crowned half-length bust left on clouds, holding mace-scepter in right hand, filleted spear in left / ΛPOOACΠO, nimbate, bearded male standing right, feeding horse, that stands right behind him, with left hand, right hand on back of horse. MK 268 (O2/R1); Donum Burns -. Near EF, a few light deposits. Extremely rare, the second known, the first to appear at auction.

This coin is from an earlier die state than the specimen illustrated in MK.

Who the god Lrooaspo was is a matter of conjecture. One possibility is that he was an adaptation of Drvaspa, an Avestan deity, who was the guardian of the health of beasts. Another possibility is that he is a representation of the Mithraic deity Apam Napat, “the grandson of the waters”, and associated with Neptune. According to the Avesta, Apam Napat possesses the epithet Aurvat-aspa, or “possessing swift horse” (Yašt 19.51). Associated with both Mithra and Drvaspa, he is concerned with the preservation of Khavaeno, or legitimate princely authority, perhaps accounted for by the presentation of the diadem in his depiction on MK 57.