France 1695-X 1/2 ecu

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from Stack's Bowers 2016 ANA sale, lot 20428
France SB816-20428r.jpg
Sincona sale 63, lot 796
The first specimen was lot 20428 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Anaheim, CA, August 2016), where it sold for $822.50. The catalog description[2] noted,
"FRANCE. 1/2 Ecu, 1695-X. Amiens Mint. Louis XIV (1643-1715). PCGS MS-62 Secure Holder. Close inspection reveals an intricate world of 17th century numismatic art. The portrait of Louis XIV in particular, is as resplendent as any seen on a coin from the period. The facial and hair detail clearly expresses the royal prerogative under which the king operated. The reverse is no less compelling, with evidence of having been overstruck on an earlier Half-Ecu. The undertype is unquestionably a product of the Rouen Mint, some 120 kilometers southeast of Amiens. Listed as KM-273.2 in Krause, and struck for only two years in 1690 and 1691, it’s anyone’s guess why such a recently struck coin would find itself being overstruck less than five years later in Amiens. A coin that obviously was set aside almost immediately after being made, and left essentially untouched for the next 300+ years. Without question it will certainly add a new degree of sophistication to any collection of Louis XIV coinage it joins."
The second specimen was lot 796 in Sincona sale 63 (Zurich, June 2020), where it sold for 100 CHF (about US$125 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[3] noted,
"Frankreich, konigreich, Louis XIV. 1643-1715. 1/2 Ecu aux palmes 1695 X, Amiens. Réformation. Sehr schön. (kingdom of France, Louis XIV, half écu of the palms of 1695, Amiens mint. 1643-1715, Very fine.)"
The specimen shown is an demi-écu aux palmes ("écu with palms") struck in Amiens during the reign of Louis XIV. This type was struck 1693-1700 in large quantities, mostly overstriking older écus ("flans reformés"--see the specimen shown for the visible undertype). It was succeeded by the demi-écu aux insignes. Droulers[1] prices this date as common, but even a common date is priced 20% higher than a demi-écu à la mèche longue.

Recorded mintage: unknown, all struck over older coins[1], a fairly common date.

Specification: 13.72 g, .917 fine silver, 32-35 mm diameter, edge lettered DOMINE SALVVM FAC REGEM, designed by Joseph Roëttiers; the second specimen is 13.25 g.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 618, Dr/2 no. 412, KM-295.22; Gad-185; Dup-1521a; DFW-260.


  • [1]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 4e édition, Paris: AFPN, 2009.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [2]Ponterio, Richard, The August 2016 Anaheim ANA Auction: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.
  • [3]Richter, Jurg, Sincona sale 63: Gold and Silver Coins and Medals, SINCONA Bullion Auction, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2020

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