France 1557-C 1/2 teston

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Jean Elsen sale 134, lot 1677
This specimen was lot 1677 in Jean Elsen sale 134 (Brussels, September 2017), where it sold for €220 (about US$311 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Henri II (1547-1559), AR demi-teston, 1557C, Saint-Lô. 2e type. D/ B. cuir. à d., t. nue. R/ Ecu de France couronné, entre deux H couronnés. Rare. presque Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Henry II, 1547-59, silver half teston of 1557, St. Lo mint, second type. Obverse: armored and draped bust right with bare head; reverse: crowned arms of France between two crowned "H's". Rare, about very fine.)"
The portrait is of Henry II (r. 1547-59). Milled coinage was experimental in the sixteenth century and would not be generally adopted in France until the reform of 1640-42. This type is listed in Duplessy for 1551-58 with a face value of 5 sols, 8 deniers tournois. It is much scarcer than the teston.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 4.79 g, .899 fine silver, this specimen 4,13 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl. 984; Ci. 1290; Laf. 822.


  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 134, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2017.

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