France 1790-I ecu

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Jean Elsen sale 122, lot 893
France 1790I ecu rev JElsen 122-893.jpg
This specimen was lot 893 in Jean Elsen sale 122 (Brussels, September 2014), where it sold for €120 (about US$184 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XVI (1774-1793), AR écu aux rameaux d'olivier, 1790 I, Limoges. Droit: B. habillé à gauche, les cheveux noués par un ruban. Revers: Ecu de France couronné, entre deux rameaux d'olivier. Nettoyé. Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Louis XVI (1774-93), silver écu of the oliver branches of 1790, Limoges mint. Obverse: uniformed bust to left, hair tied in a ribbon; reverse: crowned arms of France between two olive branches. Cleaned, very fine.)"
This specimen is an écu au buste habillé struck at the Limoges mint, one of a type struck there 1775-91. Its divisions were the ½, 1/5, 1/10 and 1/20 écu, struck in modest quantities. The écu was worth $1.10 in the USA before the Civil War. The écu au buste habillé is the most popular coin of Louis XVI among collectors. The 1790-I is listed[1] about 25% higher than the most common date (1789-A) but it is common.

Specifications for the Écu au bandeau:

  • Obverse: LUD.XVI.D.G.FR ET NAV. REX. (for Pau, NA.RE. BD), king’s uniformed bust left, hair tied with a ribbon;
  • reverse: SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM (date), oval shield of France, crowned, between two olive branches tied with ribbon, mintmark below; edge lettered DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM.
  • composition: silver, 11 deniers (.917 fine), 8.3 pieces to the mark (29.488 g), face value 6 livres, 39 mm diameter; this specimen 29,04 g. Engraved by Benjamin Duvivier.

Recorded mintage: 3,206,085[1].

Catalog reference: Dupl., 1708; Ci., 2187; Gad-356, Dr/4 no. 883, Dr/2 no. 616, Dav-1333, KM 564.7.

Sources:

  • [1]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 2nd édition. Paris: AFPN, 1998.
  • 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.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [2]Philippe Elsen et al., Vente Publique 122: Collection de monnaies chinoises, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S. A., 2014.

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