France 1555-L teston

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Jean Elsen sale 108, lot 1242
France 1555L teston rev JElsen 108-1242.jpg
This specimen was lot 1242 in Jean Elsen sale 108 (Brussels, March 2011) where it sold for 130 euros ($214 including buyer's fee). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE ROYALE, Henri II (1547-1559), AR teston, 1555 L, Bayonne. 2e type. Droit : B. cuirassé à droite, tête nue. En dessous, S. Revers : Ecu de France couronné, entre deux H couronnés. Tranche irrégulière. Très Beau. (Henry II of France (1547-59), silver teston of 1555, Bayonne mint, second type. Obverse: armored bust to right, bare head, "S" below. Reverse: Crowned arms of France between two crowned H's. Irregular edge, 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 11 sols, 4 deniers tournois.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 9.59 g, .899 fine silver, 9,18 g (this specimen).

Catalog reference: Duplessy 983; Ciani 1266; Laf., 821.


  • 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 108, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2011.

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