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Gonnella Collection

The Dr. Robert Gonnella Collection of Parthian Coins

Sadly, Dr. Gonnella (28 Nov 1935–1 Jul 2009) is no longer with us. It was my privilege to correspond for many years about Parthian numismatics with this distinguished collector and scholar.

Dr. Gonnella retired following a long and illustrious career as a lawyer and certified public accountant. In his high school days he developed a strong interest in Near East history, particularly the Greek-Iranian relationship. After earning his Ph.D. in German law, he spent his early years as a tax partner of Arthur Young in New York and Düsseldorf. He collected Parthian coins for nearly 35 years, purchasing his first drachm of Vologases III in mid-Manhattan. As Parthian coins were relatively inexpensive at the time, his collection gained more of those than other Iranian coins, growing to become one of the largest and most important private collections of its kind. Dr. Gonnella assembled a large numismatic library related to his field and was a member of the Royal Numismatic Society, London, and the Swiss and Bavarian Numismatic Societies.

Following his retirement, Dr. Gonnella sold his Achaemenid and Sasanian collection. But, on the advice of David Sellwood, in order to make his beloved Parthian collection permanently available to the public he enlisted Dr. Wilhelm Müseler of Peus to photograph and document every coin including the small bronzes. His Parthian collection was later sold in Peus Auction 388, November 2006. His skill and acumen led him to acquire many rare and previously unpublished coins which are now available for all to study, here on these pages.

Dr. Gonnella published several articles on Parthian topics which are cited in the Annotated Parthia Bibliography.

The images on these pages are used with the kind permission of Dr. Busso Peus Nachf and the late Dr. Gonnella. Photos of 376 individual coins appeared in the Peus Auction 388 catalog; the remaining 528 images were provided by Dr. Gonnella.

The attributions and cataloging of Parthian coins used throughout this web site follow David Sellwood's An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia (1980, 2nd edition) for consistency. The few exceptions to this policy are explained here.

Table of Exceptional Coins


Table 1

Arsaces I
Arsaces II
Mithradates I
Phraates II
Interregnal Issue
Artabanus I

S1 t0 S4
S5 to S6
S7 to S13
S14 to S17
S19 to S22

Page 1

Mithradates II

S23 to S29

Page 2

Gotarzes I
Orodes I
Unknown King II
Darius (?)

S35 to S37

Page 3

Phraates III
Mithradates III

S38 to S39
S40 to S41

Page 4

Orodes II

S42 to S48

Page 5

Phraates IV

S50 to S54

Page 6

Tiridates I
Phraataces & Musa

S56 to 57

Page 7

Orodes III
Vonones I
Artabanus II

S61 to S63

Page 8

Vardanes I
Gotarzes II

S65 to S66

Page 9

Vonones II
Vologases I
Vardanes II

S68, S70 to S71

Page 10

Vologases II
Pacorus II
Artabanus III

S73, S75 to S77

Page 11

Vologases III

S78 to S79

Page 12

Osroes I
Mithradates IV


Page 13

Vologases IV


Page 14

Osroes II
Vologases V
Vologases VI
Artabanus IV
Autonomous City Issues

S86 to S87
S89 to S90

Page 15


This page last updated 23 Feb 2021

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