France 1645-A 1/4 ecu

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The specimen shown is a demi-écu à la mèche courte struck in Paris during the minority of Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715). This is a "short lock" variety. The "long lock" variety, struck 1646-60, is distinguished by the longer lock of hair growing in front of the young king's ear. Altho most of the "short lock" variety was struck 1643-45, about 4.6 million were minted in that time, so the type is not rare. The 1644-A with a dot after the dot was struck at the Louvre; those with a rose after the date (as shown here) were struck at Matignon, a nearby workshop in Paris.

Recorded mintage: 310,150 (variety with rose after date; common).

Specification: 13.72 g, .917 fine silver, 32-35 mm diameter, plain edge, designed by Jean Warin or Isaac Briot.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 526A, Dr/2 no. 295.


  • Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII a Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet á Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • Krause, Chester L, and Clifford Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 1st ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1996.

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