France 1561-M 1/2 teston

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Jean Elsen sale 116, lot 1458
France 1561M demi-teston rev JElsen 116-1458.jpg
This specimen was lot 1458 in Jean Elsen sale 116 (Brussels, March 2013), where it sold for €320 (about US$486 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE ROYALE, Charles IX (1560-1574), AR demi-teston, 1561 M, Toulouse. 2e type. A l'effigie et au titre d'Henri II. Droit: B. cuirassé à droite. Revers: Ecu couronné, entre deux H couronnés. Rare. Belle patine. Très Beau à Superbe. (kingdom of France, Charles IX (1560-74) silver half teston of 1561, Toulouse mint, second type, with the effigy and in the name of Henry II. Obverse: armored bust to right; reverse: crowned arms between two crowned "H's". Rare, nice toning, very fine to extremely fine.)"
This coin was minted during the French Wars of Religion which broke out after the death of Henry II and lasted until Henry IV defeated all his rivals in 1594. The sons of Henry II, who were only teenagers when they ruled, often struck coins in the name of their father to increase their legitimacy. Milled coins would not become standard until the reign of Louis XIII (1610-1643). Duplessy lists this type for 1560-62.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 4.80 g, .899 fine silver, this specimen 4,16 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl-1051; Ci--; Laf-883.


  • 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 116, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2013.

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