Besancon 1579 2 pistolets Fr-74
This specimen was lot 20386 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Philadelphia, August 2018), where it sold for $4,920. The catalog description noted, "FRANCE. Besancon. City Coinage. 2 Pistolets, 1579. NGC AU-50. Fr-73. Large bearded laureate head right in circle, 'CAROLVS: QVINTVS: IMPERATOR.' Emperor Charles V who granted the city the coinage right on condition that all coins struck would bear his portrait; Reverse: Imperial eagle with City Arms, 'MONE. AVREA. CIVI: BISANTINAE', bold date 1579. Slightly off-round with satiny luster in the fields and nearly full legends. VERY RARE as a type and the sharpest example we have seen." Besançon was the chief city of the Franche Comté, or Free County of Burgundy. Franche Comté was part of the Burgundian inheritance which passed to the Hapsburgs in the 1490's and thence to Philip II of Spain on the abdication of Charles V in 1556. Besançon, being an imperial free city, was not directly involved in these transfers but was invaded and annexed to France by Louis XIV as a result of the Thirty Years War. Her coinage ceased in 1673.
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Catalog reference: Fr-74.
- Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio and Chris Chatigny, The August 2018 Philadelphia ANA Auction: World Coins and Selections from the El Dorado Collection of Colombian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2018.