France 1683-9 ecu

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from the Stacks Bowers 2018 ANA sale, lot 20398
France SB818-20398r.jpg

The specimen shown is an écu à la cravate ("écu of the necktie") struck in Rennes during the reign of Louis XIV of France. This specimen was lot 20398 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Philadelphia, August 2018), where it sold for $2,160. The catalog description[2] noted, "FRANCE. Ecu, 1683-9. Rennes Mint. Louis XIV (1643-1715). NGC AU-58. Although some sources call this type an "ecu Parliament", it is more accurately known as an écu à la cravate and is a rather scarce type of 1679 to 1684. The mintmark, a '9', is often interpreted as a Arabic numeral, but is actually an early form of the apostrophe. Perhaps the finest example of this type we have offered, this piece is well struck and nicely toned with only light haymarks and planchet adjustments over the surfaces." This type was struck 1672-85 in fairly large quantities but was the victim of repeated "reformations," where older écus were called in and restruck. As a result, the type is rare today. It was succeeded by the écu drapé à l'antique of 1684-87. Droulers[1] prices this date as common, but even a common date is priced over three times that of an écu à la mèche longue. Four varieties are listed, of which this is the fourth, marked by the hooked nose of the king.

Recorded mintage: est. 482,766[1].

Specification: 27.45 g, .917 fine silver, 37-41 mm diameter, plain edge, designed by F. Warin.

Catalog reference: Gad-210; Dr/5 no. 432, Dr/4 no. 482, Dr/2 no. 357, KM 226.13, Dav-3805.


  • [1]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.
  • Davenport, John S., European Crowns, 1600-1700, Galesburg, IL, 1974.
  • [2]Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio and Chris Chatigny, The August 2018 Philadelphia ANA Auction: World Coins and Selections from the El Dorado Collection of Colombian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2018.

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