1641 A [Paris Mint] Quinzain of 15 Deniers

Currency:CAD Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:1,300.00 CAD Estimated At:3,000.00 - 4,000.00 CAD
1641 A [Paris Mint] Quinzain of 15 Deniers
1,900.00CAD+ buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2019 May 02 @ 18:28UTC-4 : AST/EDT

Buyer’s Premiums will be added on all items as per the Terms & Conditions of the sale. Invoices will be emailed out after The Toronto Coin Expo.

1641 A [Paris Mint] Quinzain of 15 Deniers. Gadoury 22, Ciani 1710, Duplessy 1344, Droulers 72, Breen 272. Very Fine or so, central details a bit weaker than the peripheries. The legends are full on either side, a few stray letters weaker than their neighbors, though all are visible; the date is bold. The crowned shield on the obverse is sharp, the L to the left weaker, and the one to the right weaker still; the fleur-de-lys design at the top is especially strong, quite important for this issue. The center reverse is similarly struck, the cross full, the two fleur-de-lys in the top quadrants of the cross weaker than the bottom two, though visible, the one imitating the countermark at the exact center is sharp. Lovely light silvery gray, with traces of original silvering still visible. A small planchet crack at the edge at the top right obverse was there when the coin was struck, and there are few marks from actual circulation, which makes for a very attractive example. Nicer than the example in the Musee Carnavalet in Paris, which is marginally sharper on the obverse but quite rough and stained An EXTREME RARITY in the French Colonies series, and one that has engendered debate among specialists and researchers. There have been only three examples of this issue sold at public auction in North America in well over a quarter century (though one or two have changed hands privately); one in Stack’s sale of January, 1998, expertly catalogued by Michael Hodder who stated that “Gadoury wrote of this issue that it is a ‘monnaie extrement rare’ and noted only three specimens as known to him, two being in public collections. Breen listed four, three the same as Gadoury, the fourth being the one that changed hands last year in a public auction. The royal ordinance of 1640 ordered that all old douzains (i.e. 12 deniers pieces) be stamped with a fleur-de-lis and reissued at 15 deniers. The issues of 1641 offered here is the only one to bear the fleur-de-lis in the die.” Another was in the January, 2004 sale of the “Enterprise Collection” of choice French coinage, a VF that realized $4,830 (US) some15 years ago. We suspect that the 1641 coinage was prepared as something of a pattern or trial run, to see if it would be more expedient to recoin the older douzains by overstriking them with dies, rather than just with the small countermark which was applied by hand and required a lot of time and effort to produce. Perhaps due to the quality of the dies or of the planchets themselves (most of the known specimens have planchet splits or are rough), the idea of overstriking with dies was abandoned, and the countermarking continued. The overstriking idea would be resurrected a half century later when the Recoined Sols would be produced, many of which were overstruck on earlier douzains (and some of which were overstruck on earlier douzains that had themselves been revalued with the 1640 countermark!). Regardless of the reason for their production, the pieces definitely circulated, since all the known specimens grade in the VG-VF range, with just a single example reported as EF. If these were meant to circulate at the expected 15 Deniers value (because of the simulated countermark), they must have seen usage in the French Colonies as they would not have had that value in France itself. We note that two or three have been found in Canada, so some did make it over. We know of under 10 examples, three of which exist in permanent museum collections (two in France, one in the Bank of Canada) and five in private collections, including a pair in Canada. The two in French museums do not negate the probability that these were meant for North American circulation – if the extant pieces were struck as patterns or trial issues, then it would make sense for the Paris Mint to add an example to their own cabinet, and for additional examples to make their way to different museums as well. The Breen Encyclopedia plate coin was sold at auction in 1997, while the only other public auction record was the aforementioned one in the January, 1998 Stack’s sale. It is worth noting that no example of this type was included in the two best overall auctions of French Colonies coinages – the John J. Ford and Robert A. Vlack collections!
Gadoury states (translated from the original French): “an extremely rare issue, we have records of only three specimens. Two of them are in the collection of the Cabinet of Medals (the national collection), while the other is known from the treasure of Bouconville-Vauclerc which was uncovered in 1973 and contained more than 3400 douzains, blanc-guenars, Spanish patards and various billon coinages of different rulers.” It’s interesting that in a hoard of over 3400 douzains, most from French mints, there was but a single example of the 1641 issue – strongly suggesting that the original mintage was small and/or that few were actually in France.