France 1653-Q 1/2 ecu

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Jean Elsen sale 126, lot 1059
This specimen was lot 1059 in Jean Elsen sale 126 (Brussels, September 2015), where it sold for €180 (about US$240 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XIV (1643-1715), AR demi-écu à la mèche longue, 1653-Q, Narbonne. D/ B enfantin, l., dr. et cuir. à d. R/ Ecu de France couronné. Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Louis XIV (1643-1715), silver half ecu of the long lock of 1653, Narbonne mint. Obverse: laureate, draped and armored young bust to right; reverse: crowned arms of France. Very fine.)"
The specimen shown is a demi-écu à la mèche longue (half ecu with the long hair) from the Narbonne mint. It is one of a series struck 1646-60 from numerous mints and varies from the earlier demi-écu à la mèche courte by the length of the lock of hair over the king's ear. Its face value in France at the time of issue was 30 sols tournois. The type is common but this date is priced[2] about double the most common date (1652-G). The Narbonne mint was closed in 1654 and the mintmark "Q" reused for the Perpignan mint after 1711.

Recorded mintage: 31,157[2].

Specification: 13.72 g, .917 fine silver, 31 to 32 mm diameter, plain edge, engraved by Jean Warin. This specimen is 13,53 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl. 1470; Gad-169, Dr/4 no. 527, Dr/2 no. 301.


  • [2]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 126, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2015.

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