1643 Quinzain of Dombes. Divo Dombes 186, Gadoury Unlisted, Poey d’Avant 5190, Breen Unlisted.

Currency:CAD Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:175.00 CAD Estimated At:400.00 - 500.00 CAD
1643 Quinzain of Dombes.  Divo Dombes 186, Gadoury Unlisted, Poey d’Avant 5190, Breen Unlisted.
175.00CAD+ (35.00) buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2019 May 02 @ 18:30UTC-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.

1643 Quinzain of Dombes. Divo Dombes 186, Gadoury Unlisted, Poey d’Avant 5190, Breen Unlisted. Very Fine, nearly Extremely Fine in places but with a rather crude strike as usual for this rare, privately minted coinage. Generally bold, the obverse (shield side) with all but two letters of the legend strong. On the reverse, the legend is mostly full, the date strong, and with the fleur-de-lis “countermark” at the center bold. Light pewter color, with some darker toning in the peripheries. A few marks from circulation on either side, none important, and a slightly irregular area of edge with a striation there, as made. A fascinating issue, this quinzain clearly mimics the 1641 douzain issue listed above – the central designs are exactly the same, with the simulated countermarks of the fleur-de-lis on both sides in the exact positions as on the 1641 royal issue. The legends are different since this was produced privately by Gaston d’Orleans, the lord of Dombes – his initial “G” is on either side of the shield whereas the 1641 issue has the expected royal “L,” and the legend on this side lists abbreviations of Gaston’s titles, not those of the king. The production of this piece is interesting, because it shows that the 1641 issues must have been known outside of Paris by 1643, otherwise they could have not been mimicked so exactly – but does that mean that the 1641 pieces were in circulation or that Gaston somehow acquired an example through his royal connections (he was the only surviving brother of Louis XIII)? Gaston and his family had the authority to privately mint their own coinage since Dombes was not under the direct control of the French crown, instead being part of the old kingdom of Burgundy that was then quasi-independent; indeed it wasn’t until 1765 that Dombes was united with the French crown (through blackmail and imprisonment – you really can’t make this kind of stuff up!). Earlier Dukes of Dombes were also known to have struck copper and billon coinage, as well as a limited amount in silver and gold. No details are known about the issue or usage of these specific coins; were they intended to circulate in Dombes only? At the higher 15 Deniers valuation for a countermarked issue (they have been called both douzains, or 12 Deniers pieces, as well as quinzains, or 15 Deniers)? Also worth noting is that this is dated 1643, the same year that King Louis XIII died, and Gaston ascended to the post of lieutenant-general of the kingdom, so he may have envisioned some quasi-official status for his coinage. A fascinating item, rare, though not at the same level of the above three coins; none were in the Ford or Vlack sales. There have been a few auction records for this issue in recent years, and surprisingly they have been split between French and North American (US and Canadian) auctions, suggesting that some did indeed make their way over, perhaps inevitably so, considering the similar design and the presence of what looks like the fleur-de-lys countermark.
Gaston d’Orleans (1608-1660) was the brother of King Louis XIII, and the heir apparent to the throne prior to the birth of a royal son. With the usual mix of scheming found in royal families of the day, Gaston found himself playing all sides of the political game, sometimes for his country, sometimes against. In 1642 he was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Cardinal Richelieu (abandoning those responsible when the plot failed). In 1643 King Louis XIII died and the throne passed to the youthful Louis XIV, who Uncle Gaston also conspired against. In that year Gaston became lieutenant-general of the kingdom, and though he fought against Spain, he also became involved in the Orleanist faction of the Fronde and played both sides. Despite his immense wealth – he was the richest person in France, aside from the King – he was forced to flee France on two separate occasions for conspiring against the government. He made up with his brother prior to the king’s death and eventually made up with his nephew, Louis XIV, though the royal government surely kept a close eye on him after his earlier xexploits!