France (1515-40)-Lyon teston

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Ponterio sale 168, lot 40494
France c1515 teston rev Ponterio 168-40494.jpg
Sincona sale 9, lot 4249
Jean Elsen sale 120, lot 1233
France c1515 teston rev JElsen 120-1233.jpg
Kunker sale 263, lot 1665
from the Mountain Groan Collection
France c1521 teston rev DSLR.jpg
The first specimen was lot 40494 in Ponterio sale 168 (Philadelphia, August 2012), where it did not sell. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. Teston, ND (ca. 1515-40). Lyon Mint. NGC XF-40. Francis I (1515-47). Toned." The second specimen was lot 4249 in Sincona sale 9 (Zurich, October 2012), where it sold for 750 CHF (about US$949 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANKREICH Francois I. 1515-1547. Teston o. J., Lyon. Sehr schön-vorzüglich. (kingdom of France, Francis I, 1515-47, teston without date, Lyon mint, very fine to extremely fine.)"
The third specimen was lot 1233 in Jean Elsen sale 120 (Brussels, March 2014), where it sold for €1,100 (about US$1,809 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[3] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, François Ier (1515-1547), AR teston, s.d. point 12e, Lyon. 13e type. Droit: B. cuirassé à droite, portant une couronne fermée. Revers: Ecu de France couronné, entre deux F couronnés. Belle patine. Très Beau à Superbe. (kingdom of France, Francis I (1515-47), silver teston without date, Lyon mint. Obverse: armored bust to right, wearing a closed crown; reverse: crowned arms of France between two crowned "F's". Nice patina, very fine to extremely fine.)"
The fourth specimen was lot 1665 in Künker sale 263 (Osnabruck, June 2015), where it sold for €280 (about US$362 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[4] noted,
"KÖNIGREICH François I, 1515-1547. Teston o. J. (1537-1539), 18. Typ, Lyon. Hübsche Patina, sehr schön. (kingdom of France, Francis I, 1515-47, undated teston of about 1537-39, Lyon mint. Toned, very fine.)"

This silver coin was issued prior to the reform of 1540 which established the mintmark system used in France until the twentieth century. Prior to that, each mint identified its product with a secret mark, in this case a pellet stamped into the reverse near the base of the shield. After 1540, products of the Lyon mint were mintmarked "D" (see Duplessy-904).

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver, the second specimen is 9,35 g, the third specimen is 9,36 g.

Catalog reference: Roberts-3464; Duplessy-810, Ci-1110; Laf-667. The fourth specimen is Duplessy 819.


  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio sale 168: The Official ANA Auction, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2012.
  • [2]Numismatic Coins, Medals, Banknotes & Books: Auction 9, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2012.
  • [3]Elsen, Philippe, Vente Publique 120, Brussels: Jean Elsen & ses Fils, S.A., 2014.
  • [4]Künker Münzauktionen und Goldhandel, Catalog 263, The Friedrich Popken collection of gold and silver coinages | Coins and Medals from Medieval and Modern Times, a. o. the collection of Ernst Otto Horn, part III, Osnabrück: Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co., AG, 2015.

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