France L'AN 7-Q 5 francs

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Jean Elsen sale 124, lot 972
This specimen was lot 972 in Jean Elsen sale 124 (Brussels, March 2015), where it sold for €340 (about US$424 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Directoire (1795-1799), AR 5 francs, an 7 A, Paris. Union et Force. Gad-563. Belle patine. Très Beau. (France, Directory (1795-99), silver five francs of the year 7, Paris mint. Nice toning, very fine.)"
This specimen shown was struck at the Perpignan mint (not Paris) during the French Consulate (1799-1804) and was meant to replace the écu of the ancien régime after the execution of king Louis XVI. The Gregorian calendar was replaced by the revolutionary calendar. Year 7, shown here, comprised September 1798 thru September 1799. This "Hercules" type was struck until year 11 (1802-03) from numerous mints, tho only Paris is known for year 4. Le Franc[2] has reanalyzed the type, assigning it catalog numbers 287 thru 300, depending on the position of the obverse legend ("UNION ET FORCE"), the details of the oak wreath on the reverse and so forth. As each die was hand made, the varieties are as numerous as those of United States bust half dollars or early large cents. Overdates and repunched mintmarks and privy marks are common. The type was produced in the millions and is not rare in low grades but the price ascends rapidly with grade.

Recorded mintage: 605,585[2], a slightly better date.

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, edge lettered GARANTIE NATIONALE, designed by Augustin Dupré (1748-1833).

Catalog reference: VG 563; KM 639.5, F.287/34 (3 vars.), Dav-81.

Sources:

  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [2]Prieur, Michel, and Laurent Schmitt, Le Franc 10: Les Monnaies. Paris: Éditions les Chevau-légers, 2014.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Françaises, 1789-2011, 20me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2011.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 124, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2015.

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