France (1507-15)-Bayonne ecu d'or Fr-325

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from the Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale, lot 20171
France SB118-20171r.jpg
Jean Elsen sale 137, lot 935
The first specimen was lot 20171 in Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale (New York, January 2018), where it sold for $2,280. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. Ecu d'Or au Porc-epic, ND (19 November 1507). Bayonne Mint. Louis XII (1498-1515). NGC MS-63. Anchor at the terminal point of the obverse legend, indicating Bayonne mint. Well struck central devices with slight weakness in portions of the obverse and corresponding reverse legends, but with discernible letters and minimal tops of letters off the flan. Well executed porcupines on both obverse and reverse. Quite a lovely example of this SCARCE type displaying light attractive tone." The second specimen was lot 935 in Jean Elsen sale 137 (Brussels, June 2018), where it sold for €600 (about US$835 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XII (1498-1515), AV écu d'or au porc-épic, s.d., Bayonne (ancre). D/ Ecu de France couronné, soutenu par deux porcs-épics. R/ Croix achée, cantonnée de deux L onciaux et de deux porcs-épics. Légère trace de pliure. Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Louis XII, 1498-1515, undated gold shield of the porcupine, Bayonne mint (anchor mintmark). Obverse: crowned arms of France, supported by two porcupines; reverse: cross cantonned with two crowned "L's" and two porcupines. Light crease, very fine.)"
This coin was issued before the modern system of mintmarks was introduced by Francis I in 1540. Prior to that date, mints used various secret marks to identify and date their product. This otherwise undated and unmintmarked coin is thereby noted as being produced by the Bayonne mint (later mintmark "L") in 1507.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 3.49 g, .963 fine gold, the first specimen 3.43 g; the second specimen 3,37 g.

Catalog reference: Fr-325; Dup-655; Ciani-909; Laf-598.


  • 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.
  • [1]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.
  • [2]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 137, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2018.

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