France 1769-L ecu

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Jean Elsen sale 120, lot 1261
France 1769L ecu rev JElsen 120-1261.jpg
This specimen was lot 1261 in Jean Elsen sale 120 (Brussels, March 2014), where it sold for €110 (about US$181 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XV (1715-1774), AR écu au bandeau, 1769 L, Bayonne. Droit: Tête à gauche, ceinte d'un bandeau. Revers: Ecu de France ovale, couronné, entre deux rameaux d'olivier. Dupl., 1680; Ci-2122; Gad-322. 29,28 g. Fines traces d'ajustage. Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Louis XV (1715-74), silver écu of the ribbon of 1769, Bayonne mint. Obverse: head to left, hair tied in a ribbon; reversse: oval arms of France, crowned, between two olive branches. Slight adjustment marks, very fine.)"

Après nous, le déluge.—Louis XV (1710-1774).

According to legend, Louis is alleged to have quipped, “After us, the flood,” predicting the collapse of the regime after his death. He was more likely expressing despair at his many defeats at the hands of Frederick the Great. The long reign of Louis XV (1715-74) saw many coin types come and go. The first part of the reign, while Louis was a child, was a period of monetary confusion and manipulation. The reforms of Cardinal Fleury (1726) stabilized the fiscal situation until the total collapse at the eve of the Revolution. Numismatically, this period can be divided into three epochs, marked by the écu aux branches d’olivier (1726-40), the écu au bandeau (1740-72) and the écu à la vielle tête (1770-74). This specimen belongs to the middle period.

Recorded mintage: unknown but common.

Specification:

  • Obverse: LUD.XV.D.G.FR ET NAV. REX. (for Pau, NA.RE. BD), king’s head left, hair tied with a ribbon;
  • reverse: SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM (date), oval shield of France, crowned, between two olive branches tied with ribbon, mintmark below; edge lettered DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM.
  • composition: silver, 11 deniers (.917 fine), 8.3 pieces to the mark (29.488 g), face value 6 livres, 39 mm diameter, this specimen 29,26 g. Engraved by Joseph-Charles Roéttiers.

Catalog reference: Dav-1331, Dupl-1680; Ci-2122; Gad-322; Dr/4 no. 820, Dr/2 no. 584, KM 523.

Sources:

  • Alhéritière, Edouard, and Ludovic Deswelle, "Les écus de Louis XV de bandeau: point de situation," Numismatique et Change, No. 349 [Mai 2004], pp. 61-63.
  • [2]Clairand, Armand, Monnaies de Louis XV, Le temps de la Stabilité Monetaire, 1726-1774, Paris: Maison Platt, 1996.
  • 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.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Davenport, John S., European Crowns, 1700-1800, 2nd Ed., London: Spink & Son, 1964.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, Vente Publique 120, Brussels: Jean Elsen & ses Fils, S.A., 2014.

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