France 1578-A 1/4 ecu

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Ponterio sale 173, lot 1243
photo courtesy Stack's-Bowers LLC

This specimen was lot 1243 in Ponterio sale 173 (New York, January 2013), where it sold for $2,820. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. 1/4 Ecu Piefort in Quadruple Weight, 1578-A. Henry III (1574-1589). VERY RARE. A couple of small edge bumps. Attractively toned. VERY FINE." The French mint experimented with milled coinage (such as is shown here) in the sixteenth century but did not adopt it conprehensively until the great reform of the 1640's. The quarter écu was the largest coin that could be struck by the hammer so to make heavier coins for presentation, thicker planchets were used.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 9.71 g, .917 fine silver, this specimen 38.48 g.

Catalog reference: cf.Duplessy-1133; Ciani-1439.


  • 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 173: The January NYINC 2013 Auction, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2012.

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