France (1488-98)-B blanc

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Jean Elsen sale 137, lot 934
This specimen was lot 934 in Jean Elsen sale 137 (Brussels, June 2018), where it sold for €65 (about US$91 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Charles VIII (1483-1498), AR blanc à la couronne, avril 1488, Bourges (B final). D/ Ecu de France entre trois couronnelles. R/ Croix pattée, cantonnée de deux lis et de deux couronnelles. Annelet sous la croisette initiale. Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Charles VIII, 1483-98, silver blank of the crown, emission of April 1488, Bourges mint. Obverse: arms of France between three crowns; reverse: cross pattée cantonned with two lilies and two crowns. Ring below the initial crown. Very fine.)"
In addition to the well-documented series of gold écu d'or, the king of France also minted an extensive series of silver and billon coins for his realm which, by reason of their low value, are poorly represented in auctions. This specimen is unusually well made but, even so, did not realize much in this sale. It had a face value of 12 deniers tournois and was accompanied by a petit blanc (Dupl-588) worth six denier tournois. In the reform of 1540, Bourges would be assigned mintmark "Y" instead of the "B" shown here.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 2.84 g, .359 fine silver, this specimen 2,46 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl. 587; Ci. 805; Laf. 562.


  • [2]Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome I, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 137, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2018.

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