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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 100, Lot: 149. Estimate $1000.
Sold for $3200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

INDIA, Gupta Empire. First Dynasty. Kachagupta. Circa AD 335. AV Dinar (20mm, 7.57 g, 12h). Chakradhvaja type. Kachagupta, nimbate, standing left, sacrificing at altar and holding filleted chakradhvaja (wheel-standard); kacha in Brahmi below left arm / Lakshmi standing left, holding flower and cornucopia; tamgha to left. BKB 14; BMC Guptas 45-6 (Samudragupta); Alketar variety A, 1; Bayana variety A, 201. EF, areas of toning, minute traces of deposits.

From the collection of Dr. Lawrence A. Adams, purchased from Stephen Album, March 1988.

The presence of this type, bearing the legend Ka/cha below the left arm of the figure on the obverse, a position where other issues have the king’s name, was problematic for early numismatists. In BMC Guptas, it was concluded that Kacha was probably a title for Samudragupta, and these coins were placed under that king. Later numismatic studies, such as Bayana and Alketar, have tended to identify a new king named Kacha. Although Samudragupta was the chosen heir of his father, Chandragupta I, he had several older brothers who were apparently passed-over. It is now thought that Kacha, or Kachagupta, was one of these brothers, who was elevated as a rival king to his younger sibling. The overall scarcity of the coinage attests to the brevity of his reign, and the absence of his name from the historical record, save for these coins, cannot discount his existence, as many rulers are only known by their coins.