France L'AN 4-A 2 decimes

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
France AN4A 2 decimes rev DSLR.jpg
from www.cgb.fr, sale 31, lot 1656
from www.cgb.fr, sale 52, lot 992

The numismatics of the bronze coinage of the French First Republic is complex. For the twenty centimes, the first issue (An 4-5) was 20 g, 32 mm diameter and was immediately rejected by the populace along with the 5 g five centimes and the 10 g décime (10 centimes). During An 5, the government tried again with larger coins, increasing the five centimes to 10 g and the décime to 20 g and abandoning the double décime. The revised types met with some success and they were issued in substantial numbers until An 9. Leftover stocks of light weight décimes were overstruck into 5 centimes and double décimes converted into décimes. They circulated until the 1850's and today few are found in Very Fine or better.

During An 4, this type was struck at Paris ("A"), Lyon ("D"), Limoges ("I") and Bordeaux ("K"). Paris produced the majority. Most were restruck into one décimes and the type is now rare, despite the large mintage. When the Second Republic attempted another twenty centime issue, it was as a silver coin.

The second specimen was lot 1656 in CGB sale 31. The third specimen was lot 992 in CGB sale 52 (Paris, February 2012), where it sold for 455 € (about US$658 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[2] noted,
"Très faible usure de circulation sur les reliefs. La monnaie est bien centrée mais elle a été frappée avec des coins fatigués ce qui explique les légères faiblesses de frappe dans les champs. Cet exemplaire n’a plus son rouge mais il est recouvert d’une jolie patine marron. Aspect très agréable. Cet exemplaire provient de la Collection André Gauthiez. Ce type est fabriqué suite à la loi du 28 thermidor an 3. La frappe débute le 27 floréal an 4 (16 mai 1796) et dure jusqu'au 21 septembre 1796. 9.177.562 pièces au total ont été mises en service. La fabrication des flans était sous-traitée auprès de différents entrepreneurs dont nous avons retrouvé la trace dans les manuscrits de fabrication de la Monnaie de Paris: Daumy (7.459.977 ex.); Marc (139.747 ex.); Baumann (701.894 ex.); Godot (32.207 ex.); Beudot (360.203 ex.); Pérelle (77.217 ex.); Brézin (344.100 ex.); Folcade (62.217 ex.). (Very slightly circulated on the relief. The coin is well centered but struck from very worn dies, expalining the weak features. This specimen is no longer red but has retoned to an agreeable medium brown. From the André Gauthiez collection.)"

Recorded mintage: 9,177,562[1].

Specification: bronze, 20 g, 32 mm diameter, "chevronned" edge, designed by Augustin Dupré (1748-1833).

Catalog reference: F.145/1, KM 638.1.

Source:

  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [1]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies, Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • [2]Clairand, Arnaud, Stéphane Desrousseaux, Michel Prieur and Laurent Schmitt, Monnaies 52: Vente Sur Offres, Paris: CGB.fr, 2012.

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