France 1793-H 1/2 sol

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CNG Lissner sale, lot 312

This specimen was lot 312 in Classical Numismatic Group's sale of the Lissner Collection (Chicago, August 2014), where it sold for $968. The catalog description[1] noted, "FRANCE, Premier République. Convention nationale. 1792-1795. CU Demi-sol aux balances. La Rochelle mint; différents: anchor and pitcher. J. Jacques Biollay, engraver. François Séguy, director. Dually dated 1793 H and L’An 2. In NGC encapsulation graded MS 64 BN. Darkish brown with faint underlying luster. A very rare one year type struck at only two mints. Almost never seen or offered and the only one ever encapsulated." This coin was minted at La Rochelle during the throes of the Revolution. 1793 was the year the king was guillotined. Amid the chaos, these copper half sols were issued, along with one and two sols. The 1791-93 issues bear the bust of the king but his ouster forced the removal of his portrait. The obverse shows the tablet of the law with the motto, "LES HOMMES SONT EGAUX DEVANT LA LOI," (all men are equal before the law) and the reverse shows the balance scales of justice. This type was hurriedly and crudely made at Limoges and La Rochelle only and is rarely found better than VG.

Recorded mintage: est. 60,000 for Limoges and La Rochelle combined.

Specification: bronze or brass, 6.11 g, 25 mm diameter. This specimen is Ø26 mm, 7.55 g, 6h axis.

Catalog reference: VG 10; KM 618.1.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
  • [1]Teller, M. Louis, and Victor England, Jr., The Richard Lissner Collection, Lancaster, PA: Classical Numismatic Group, 2014.

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