France 1686-A 1/2 ecu

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Ponterio sale 173, lot 1245
photo courtesy Stack's-Bowers LLC
from the Mountain Groan Collection
France 1686A demi ecu rev DSLR.jpg
from Jean Elsen sale 132, lot 772
The first specimen was lot 1245 in Ponterio sale 173 (New York, January 2013), where it sold for $529. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE. 1/2 Ecu, 1686-A. Paris Mint. NGC EF-40. Louis XIV (1643-1715). KM-262.1, Gad-181, Dup-1510, DFW-236." We submit that the cataloguers made a rare error here. The specimen shown is not a rare demi-écu à la perruque (Gad-181) but a much more common (tho still scarce) demi-écu de Flandre, of a type struck for Flanders 1685-89. Standard French half écus were .917 fine silver. The third specimen was lot 772 in Jean Elsen sale 132 (Brussels, March 2017), where it sold for €250 (about US$317 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XIV (1643-1715), AR demi-écu de Flandre, 1686A, Paris. Dit "carambole". Au buste large. Différent: croissant. D/ B. dr. à d., coiffé d'une longue perruque. R/ Ecu couronné, écartelé de France, Bourgogne moderne et Bourgogne ancien. Rare. Beau à Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Louis XIV (1643-1715), silver half écu of Flanders of 1686 with large bust, called "carambole", Paris mint. Obverse: draped bust to right with long wig; reverse: crowned arms of France and Burgundy. Rare, fine to very fine.)"
Note the obvious 1686/5 overdate on the Jean Elsen specimen.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 18.82 g, .857 fine silver, 34 mm diameter, lettered edge; the third specimen is 18,46 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl. 1510; Gad-182; Delm. 420, Dr/4 no. 594A, Dr/2 no. 484A.

Source:

  • Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio Sale 173: The January NYINC 2013 Auction, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2012.
  • [2]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 132, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2017.

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