France 1786-R 1/5 ecu

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Jean Elsen 120, lot 1263
France 1786R fifth ecu rev JElsen 120-1263.jpg
CNG Lissner sale, lot 299
The first specimen was lot 1267 in Jean Elsen sale 120 (Brussels, March 2014), where it sold for €240 (about US$395 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XVI (1774-1793), AR cinquième d'écu aux rameaux d'olivier, 1786 R, Orléans. Droit: B. habillé à gauche, les cheveux noués par un ruban. Revers: Ecu de France couronné, entre deux rameaux d'olivier. presque Très Beau. (kingdom of France, Louis XVI (1774-93). silver fifth écu of the olive branches of 1786, Orléans mint. Obverse: uniformed bust to left, hair tied in a ribbon; reverse: crowned arms of France between two olive branches. About very fine.)"
The second specimen was lot 299 in Classical Numismatic Group's sale of the Lissner Collection (Chicago, August 2014), where it sold for $665.50. The catalog description[3] noted, "FRANCE, Royal. Louis XVI. 1774–1793. AR Cinquième d’écu aux rameaux d’olivier. Orléans mint; différents: dog running left/star. Joseph Amy Guiquero, engraver. Mathieu Pierre Combret, director. Dated 1786 R. In NGC encapsulation graded MS 64. Choice uncirculated with fantastic deep lustrous patina. A fantastic type coin. Highest ever graded for denomination of all reigns." This specimen is an cinquième d'écu au buste habillé struck at the Orléans mint, one of a type struck there for France 1775-90. The 1786-R is priced[1] about 35% more than the most common date (1787-R). The other mints for 1786 are Montpellier, mintmark "N", Perpignan, mintmark "Q", and Paris, mintmark "A".


  • Obverse: LUD.XVI.D.G.FR ET NAV. REX., 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; reeded edge.
  • composition: silver, 11 deniers (.917 fine), 41.5 pieces to the mark (5.83 g), face value 24 sols, 26-27 mm diameter. Engraved by Benjamin Duvivier. The first specimen 5,72 g, the second specimen 26 mm diameter, 5.84 g, 6h axis.

Recorded mintage: 86,790[1].

Catalog reference: Dupl-1710; Ci-2190; Gad-354. Dr/4 no. 886, Dr/2 no. 619, KM 569.12.


  • [1]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.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [2]Elsen, Philippe, Vente Publique 120, Brussels: Jean Elsen & ses Fils, S.A., 2014.
  • [3]Teller, M. Louis, and Victor England, Jr., The Richard Lissner Collection, Lancaster, PA: Classical Numismatic Group, 2014.

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