France 1690-L ecu

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CNG Lissner sale, lot 263

This specimen was lot 263 in Classical Numismatic Group's sale of the Lissner Collection (Chicago, August 2014), where it sold for $2,420. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE, Royal. Louis XIV le Roi Soleil (the Sun King). 1643–1715. AR Écu aux huit L. Lille mint; différent: sun/clover. Dated 1690 (crowned L). In NGC encapsulation graded MS 62. Nicely toned with violet-blue patina. Coin has full luster under patina. Extremely choice for type. Superb in all ways. Quite rare according to Gadoury. Purchased from Paramount International Coin Corporation, July 1977." This type was struck 1690-93 in large quantities, mostly overstriking older écus ("flans reformés"--most specimens have a visible undertype). It was succeeded by the écu aux palmes. Droulers[2] prices this date about 50% higher than common, but even a common date is priced two and a half times that of an écu à la mèche longue. The "L" mintmark is for Bayonne and the "crowned L" mintmark is for Lille. This must have confused mint officials even at the time, because in 1693, the Lille mintmark was changed to "W", which the Lille mint used until the 1850's. The écu would be struck until the end of the ancien régime in 1792.

Recorded mintage: scarce (Lille), somewhat scarce (Bayonne).

Specification: 27.45 g, .917 fine silver, 38-41 mm diameter, edge lettered DOMINE SALVVM FAC REGEM, designed by Joseph Roéttiers, this specimen 40 mm diameter, 27.24 g, 6h axis.

Catalog reference: Dav-3811, Duplessy 1514; Ciani 1889; KM 275.17, Dr/4 no. 508, Dr/2 no. 396.

Source:

  • 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]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.
  • [1]Teller, M. Louis, and Victor England, Jr., The Richard Lissner Collection, Lancaster, PA: Classical Numismatic Group, 2014.

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