Avignon 1641-V 1/2 franc

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Jean Elsen sale 134, lot 1843
This specimen was lot 1843 in Jean Elsen sale 134 (Brussels, September 2017), where it sold for €600 (about US$847 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, ETATS PONTIFICAUX, Urbain VIII (1623-1644), (Maffeo Barberini), AR demi-franc, 1641, Avignon. Au nom du cardinal-légat Antonio Barberini. D/ B. à d., vêtu de la chape. R/ Croix fleuronnée, avec la lettre V au centre. Extrêmement rare Fines griffes. Beau à Très Beau. (France, county of Avignon, Urban VIII, 1623-44, silver half franc of 1641, Avignon mint, struck in the name of Cardinal Legate Antonio Barberini. Obverse: robed bust to right; reverse: floriate cross, "V" at center. Extremely rare, fine scratches, fine to very fine.)"
The SCWC lists this scarce type for 1641-42. Avignon was a Papal enclave in the south of France and was annexed by the French during the Revolution. The French demi-franc of Louis XIII was 7.09 g, .833 fine silver, 27-29 mm diameter, so we presume this coin was struck to the same standard.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver, this specimen 6,38 g.

Catalog reference: Munt. 218. KM 61, Berman 1794.


  • Berman, Allen G., Papal Coins, South Salem, NY: Attic Books, 1991.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 134, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2017.

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