France 1721-W 1/3 ecu

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Jean Elsen sale 141, lot 1415
This specimen was lot 1415 in Jean Elsen sale 141 (Brussels, June 2019), where it sold for €340 (about US$451 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XV (1715-1774), AR tiers d'écu de France, 1721W, Lille. Flan neuf. D/ B. l. et dr. à d. R/ Ecu de France couronné. Superbe. (kingdom of France, Louis XV, 1715-74, silver third écu of France of 1721, Lille mint, new blank. Obverse: laureate and draped bust right; reverse: crowned arms of France. Extremely Fine.)"
The type was struck 1720-23 in large numbers while the adventurer John Law dominated the French government. Many were struck over petit Louis d'argent struck in 1720. Worth 3 livres on its introduction, it was reduced in steps to 1 livre 6 sols 8 deniers in September 1724.

Recorded mintage: 588,325 fn + 741,874 rf[2].

Specification: 8.15 g, .917 fine silver, 26-28 mm diameter, reeded edge, designed by N. Roéttiers, this specimen 8,16 g.

Catalog reference: Dr/2 no. 568A, Dr/4 no. 832A, Dupl-1667; Gad-306.


  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • [2]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition. Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 141, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2019.

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