France 1769-M ecu
This specimen was lot 292 in Classical Numismatic Group's sale of the Lissner Collection (Chicago, August 2014), where it sold for $1,512.50. The catalog description noted, "FRANCE, Royal. Louis XV le Bien-Aimé (the Well-Beloved). 1715–1774. AR Écu au bandeau. Toulouse mint; différents: bird in flight/scallop. Jean-Jacques Pouzeaux, engraver. Guillaume Laserre de la Burthe, director. Dated 1769 M. In NGC encapsulation graded MS 63. Deeply toned with mottled patina. Very well struck for type. Only a few have ever made it to MS 63 and this is one of them. Only coin of date and mint ever graded. Purchased from B. A. Seaby, January 1972."
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: "few".
- 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. Engraved by Joseph-Charles Roettiers, this specimen 40 mm diameter, 29.47 g, 6h axis.
Catalog reference: Dav-1331, Duplessy 1680; Ciani 2124; KM 512.13; Gad-322; Dr/4 no. 820, Dr/2 no. 584.
- 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.
- 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), 2nd édition. Paris: AFPN, 1998.
- 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.
- Teller, M. Louis, and Victor England, Jr., The Richard Lissner Collection, Lancaster, PA: Classical Numismatic Group, 2014.