France 1779-W 1/2 ecu

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Jean Elsen sale 109, lot 1348
Jean Elsen sale 109, lot 1348
the same specimen, from the Mountain Groan Collection
the same specimen, from the Mountain Groan Collection
the same specimen
the same specimen

The 1779-W demi écu au buste habillé of France is among the more common dates of the type struck 1774-1792. This specimen was lot 1344 in Jean Elsen sale 109 (Brussels, June 2011) where it sold for 130 euros ($220 including buyer's fee). The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE ROYALE, Louis XVI (1774-1793), AR demi-écu aux rameaux d'olivier, 1779 W, Lille. Très Beau/Superbe. (half écu of 1779, Lille mint, very fine to extremely fine.)"

Recorded mintage: 155,410.

Specification: Silver, .917 fine, 14.74 g, 30.5 mm diameter.


  • Obverse: uniformed and peruked bust of Louis XVI facing left, legend LUD XVI D. G. FR. ET NAV. REX. (Louis XVI, by the grace of God, king of France and Navarre).
  • Reverse: oval arms of France, crowned, with olive branches around, legend SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM 1789. Edge engraved, "DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM," Latin for "God save the king." The mintmark ("W" for Lille) is at the bottom, between "DOMINI" and "BENEDICTUM."

Catalog reference: Dupl-1709, Dr/2 no. 618, Dr/4 no. 885, KM 562.1.


  • Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII a Louis XVI (1610-1792), 2nd édition. Paris: AFPN, 1998.
  • Krause, Chester L, and Clifford Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 3rd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, Vente Publique 109, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses fils, S.A., 2011.

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