France 1855-BB 2 centimes

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Jean Elsen sale 124, part of lot 1170
This specimen was part of lot 1170 in Jean Elsen sale 124 (Brussels, March 2015), which sold for €80 (about US$100 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANCE, Napoléon III (1852-1870), lot de 3 p. de 2 centimes: 1855 BB (chien), 1855 BB (ancre, photo), 1856 BB, Strasbourg. Superbe. (France, Napoleon III (1852-70), lot of three pieces of two centimes: 1855-BB (dog privy mark), 1855-BB (anchor privy mark, photo shown) and 1856-BB, all Strasbourg mint. Extremely fine.)"
The regime of Napoleon III finally carried out plans developed during the 1840's to melt down and remint all the old copper circulating in France, some of it dating back to before the Revolution of 1789. Several branch mints were reopened for this purpose. The existing mints were Paris ("A"), Strasbourg ("BB") and Bordeaux ("K"); the reopened mints were Lille ("W"), Marseilles ("MA"), Rouen ("B") and Lyon ("D"). This date is scarce tho the dog privy mark is common.

Specification: 2 g, bronze, 20 mm diameter, plain edge, designed by Jean-Jacques Barré (1793-1855).

Recorded mintage: 2,105,599[1] includes the dog privy mark.

Catalog reference: F.107/24, KM-776.3; Gad-103.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
  • [1]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies. Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • [2]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 124, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2015.

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