France 1659-M 1/12 ecu

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Sincona sale 57, lot 2894
This specimen was lot 2894 in Sincona sale 57 (Zurich, May 2019), where it sold for 400 CHF (about US$476 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"Louis XIV. 1643-1715. 1/12 Ecu 1659, Toulouse. Portrait des Königs nach rechts (à la mèche longue). Rv. Gekröntes Wappen, unten Mzz. M, oben « (Münzmeister Barraud, später Martinot). Von grosser Seltenheit. Gutes sehr schön. (kingdom of France, Louis XIV, one-twelfth écu of the long lock, Toulouse mint. Obverse: king's bust right; reverse: crowned arms, mintmark below. Of high rarity, Good very fine.)"
Shown is a twelfth d'écu buste adolescent struck 1659-64 during the minority of Louis XIV of France (r. 1643-1715). This issue is from the Toulouse mint. By some fluke of fashion, this coin became very popular in the Levantine trade and large numbers were minted and exported. It was imitated in Orange, Monaco, Dombes and Italy (where it was called the "luigino") until the market was saturated and the price dropped back to its face value of five sols.

Recorded mintage: 13,481, a rare date.

Specification: 2.28 g, .917 fine silver, 19-20 mm diameter, designed by Jean Warin, this specimen 2.32 g.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 724; Gad-112.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [2]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • [1]Richter, Jurg, Sincona Auction 57: World Coins and Medals, Coins and Medals from Switzerland, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2019.

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