Avignon 1642 quadrupla Fr-59
This quadrupla was minted in Avignon, in southern France, for pope Urban VIII (1623-44). The type is listed for 1637-44 but is rare and expensive. The last quadrupla is listed for 1665. The catalogs don't state whether the coin is a quadruple ducat or a quadruple scudo d'oro and it probably didn't make much difference. This specimen was lot 30235 in Heritage sale 3037 (New York, January 2015), where it sold for $2,350. The catalog description noted, "Papal States. Urban VIII gold Quadrupla (4 Écu d'or) 1642 XF Details (Repaired) NGC, Avignon mint. A large, gold issue featuring the bust of Urban VIII in clerical dress and the Cardinal crest on Maltese cross with Cardinal's hat atop. Despite several planchet irregularities denoted by the details holder, this is a nice example from this crudely produced issue with attractive, aged patina and interesting design motifs that exhibit minor doubling. Seldom encountered and still highly collectible in this quality. A city in southeastern France, Avignon is located near the confluence of the Rhone and Durance rivers and was in the possession of the Papacy until annexed by France in 1791. Urban VIII, who was Pope from 1623 until his death in 1644, was the last Pope to expand the Papal territory by force of arms, but he incurred massive debts during his Papacy which caused the Holy See to lose mili[t]ary and political influence in Europe."
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: 14 g, .986 fine gold, .443 troy oz AGW.
Catalog reference: Fr-59, KM-58, Muntoni-208a, Ber-1787.
- 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.
- Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
- Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 3037, featuring the Empire, the Santa Catarina, the Law and the Santa Maria Collections, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2014.