France 1787-Pau ecu

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Sincona sale 18, lot 2201
This specimen is an écu au buste habillé struck at the Bayonne mint, one of a type struck there 1775-91. 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 1787-Pau is listed[1] about 40% higher than the most common date (1789-A) but it is not rare. This specimen was lot 2201 in Sincona sale 18 (Zurich, May 2014), where it sold for CHF 500 (about US$659 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"Ecu aux lauriers 1787. Pau Sehr schön-vorzüglich. (kingdom of France, Louis XVI, écu of the laurel wreath of 1787, Pau mint, very fine to extremely fine.)"

Specifications for the Écu au bandeau.

  • 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 29.31 g.

Recorded mintage: 645,622[1].

Catalog reference: Duplessy 1708. Dr/4 no. 883a, Dr/2 no. 616a, Dav-1334, KM 564.9; Gad-356.

Sources:

  • [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.
  • 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.
  • [2]Numismatic Coins, Medals, & Banknotes: Auction 18, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2014.

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