France 1775-Pau ecu

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Jean Elsen sale 121, lot 1169
France 1775Pau ecu rev JElsen 121-1169.jpg
This specimen was lot 1169 in Jean Elsen sale 121 (Brussels, June 2014), where it sold for €150 (about US$240 including buyers' fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XVI (1774-1793), AR écu de Béarn aux rameaux d'olivier, 1775, Pau. Droit: B. habillé à gauche, les cheveux noués par un ruban. Revers: Ecu de France couronné, entre deux rameaux d'olivier. Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Louis XVI (1774-93), silver écu of Béarn of 1775, Pau mint. Obverse: uniformed bust to left, hair tied in a ribbon; reverse: crowned arms of France between two olive branches. Very fine.)"
This specimen is an écu au buste habillé struck at the Pau mint, one of a type struck there 1775-92. Its divisions were the ½, 1/5, 1/10 and 1/20 écu, struck in modest quantities. The écu was worth $1.10 in the USA before the Civil War. The écu au buste habillé is the most popular coin of Louis XVI among collectors. The 1775-Pau is listed[2] about triple the most common date (1789-A).

Specifications for the Écu au buste habillé:

  • Obverse: LUD.XVI.D.G.FR ET NAV. REX. (for Pau, NA.RE. BD), king’s uniformed bust 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 Benjamin Duvivier. This specimen is 29,25 g.

Recorded mintage: 183,978[2].

Catalog reference: Dav-1334, Dr/4 no. 883a, Dr/2 no. 616a, KM 572, Dupl-1708; Ci-2187; Gad-356a.

Sources:

  • [2]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.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 121, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2014.

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