France 1777-I 2 louis d'or

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Jean Elsen sale 137, lot 1035
This specimen was lot 1035 in Jean Elsen sale 137 (Brussels, June 2018), where it sold for €2,000 (about US$2,783 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XVI (1774-1793), AV double louis d'or aux lunettes, 1777I, Limoges. D/ B. à g., en habit brodé, les cheveux noués par un ruban. R/ Ecus ovales de France et de Navarre inclinés sous une couronne. Rare Légèrement paillé. presque Superbe. (kingdom of France, Louis XVI, 1774-93, gold double Louis of the spectacles of 1777, Limoges mint. Obverse: uniformed bust to left, hair tied in a ribbon; reverse: inclined oval arms of France and Navarre under a crown. Rare, lightly polished, about extremely fine.)"
The specimen shown is a double louis au buste habillé of the Limoges mint. The double louis of Louis XVI continued to be struck to the standard of 1726 but the price of gold had risen, making the type uneconomical to issue. In 1785, Calonne lowered the weight to 15.30 grams and recoined all the stocks in government hands, rendering this earlier type very rare. The 1777-I is among the more frequently encountered of the few survivors.

Recorded mintage: 32,016.

Specification: 16.31 g, .917 fine gold, reeded edge, 28-29 mm diameter, this specimen 16,23 g.

Catalog reference: Dupl. 1703; Gad-362, Dr/4 no. 875, Dr/2 no. 601, KM 575.7.


  • 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.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 137, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils, S.A., 2018.

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