France 1588-C double tournois

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Jean Elsen sale 137, lot 945
This specimen was lot 945 in Jean Elsen sale 137 (Brussels, June 2018), where it sold for €80 (about US$111 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Henri III (1574-1589), Cu double tournois, 1588C, Saint-Lô. D/ B. l. et cuir. à d. R/ Trois lis dans le champ. Différent: tête de lion (Philippe Varice). Très rare. Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Henry III, 1574-89, copper double tournois of 1588, Saint-Lô mint. Obverse: laureate armored bust to right; reverse: three fleurs-de-lys in the field, lion's head privy mark. Very rare, very fine.)"
The specimen shown is a double tournois of Henry III (r. 1574-89) struck by the hammer at the Saint-Lô mint (mintmark "C") in 1588. Duplessy notes that this type was struck 1577-89. These coins were produced by private contractors in large quantities at a profusion of mints and in many varieties until the 1640's. The issues of Henry III and IV were reasonable compared to those of the regency of Louis XIII, when the queen-mother sold production contracts to many of her supporters. The face value was two deniers.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 3.13 g, copper, this specimen 2,79 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl-1152; CGKL 118.


  • 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 137, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2018

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