Guadeloupe (1802) escalin
The island of Guadeloupe was colonized by the French in 1635, but did not see sizable settlements until much later. For a time it was a dependency of Martinique. The French had been cutting and stamping coins for local use when the British took control in 1810-1816. The latter mandated several different types of coins, authorized in 1811, to be made from circulating English, French, and Spanish silver.
This specimen was lot 25192 in Heritage sale 3032 (Chicago, April 2014), where it sold for $5,287.50. The catalog description noted, "French Administration Escalin (1802), XF40 NGC. By decree of 9 Frimaire an XI (November 30, 1802), Counter Admiral Lacrosse authorized the cutting and stamping of gourdes (mostly Spanish Colonial 8 Reales) to provide for the needed small coinage. Each coin would first have an octogonal central segment removed (and stamped 4 E. R. F. in two lines for 4 Escalins Republique Francaise), and the resulting ring would be further cut into 8 segments, each of these stamped with the R. F. letters, and valued at 1 Escalin (the Escalin was the Dutch Schelling or 6 Stuivers, equivalent to the Spanish Colonial 1 Real piece). The operation was made at the expense of the authorities by citizen Monsigny. An initial 2,000 gourdes were authorized for this operation, thus resulting in 16,000 of these Escalins. Surviving specimens are very rare. The R. F. stamp on the present example is from the same dies as the ex Ford-Roehrs example (DNW 9/2010, lot 163, for GBP 2,000)."
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Catalog reference: KM 2, Mazard-44.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
- Byrne, Ray, Coins, Tokens, & Medals from the West Indies, Jess Peters, Inc, auction catalog - Sale #78, June 13-15, 1975.
- Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3032, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2014