France 1555-D 1/2 teston

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Jean Elsen sale 141, lot 1092
This specimen was lot 1092 in Jean Elsen sale 141 (Brussels, June 2019), where it sold for €150 (about US$199 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Henri II (1547-1559), AR demi-teston, 1555D, Lyon. 2e type. D/ B. cuir. à d., t. nue. R/ Ecu de France couronné, entre deux H couronnés. Rare Légère faiblesse de frappe. Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Henry II, 1547-59, silver half teston of 1555, Lyon mint, second type. Obverse: armored bust right with bare head; reverse: crowned arms of France between two crowned "H's". Rare, slightly weak strike, Very Fine.)"
The portrait is of Henry II (r. 1547-59). Milled coinage was experimental in the sixteenth century and would not be generally adopted in France until the reform of 1640-42. This type is listed in Duplessy for 1551-58 with a face value of 5 sols, 8 deniers tournois. It is much scarcer than the teston.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 4.799 g, .899 fine silver, this specimen 4,16 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl-984; Ci. 1290; Laf. 822.


  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 141, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2019.

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