France (1360) franc Fr-279
This specimen was lot 20146 in Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale (New York, January 2018), where it sold for $4,320. The catalog description noted, "FRANCE. Franc à Cheval, ND. Jean II (Jean Le Bon) (1350-64). NGC MS-63. Also known as "John The Good", Jean II faced multiple disasters unfolding in France at the time this coin was issued. The plague killed off nearly half the French population, while at the same time Jean II found himself imprisoned in London, essentially held for ransom. Upon his release in 1360 (the year this coin was struck) after the signing of the Treaty of Brétigny, France lost nearly a third of its territory to England. The piece offered here is an exquisite slice of those tumultuous times, and is sensationally well preserved. Nicely struck on a fully round flan featuring sharp detail and full legends on both sides. Lightly toned with underlying soft satin luster and excellent eye appeal." Duplessy notes that this type had a face value of 20 sols tournois. It was issued again in the next reign (Fr-285) but was superseded by the franc à pied (Fr-284), which showed the king on foot.
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: 1.000 fine gold, 3.88 g.
Catalog reference: Fr-279; Duplessy-294.
- Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome I, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
- 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.
- Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio, John Kraljevich and Cris Chatigny, The January 2018 NYINC Sale: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, featuring the Eldorado Collection of Colombian and Ecuadorian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2017.