1658-A [Paris Mint] Pattern Sizain, piedfort, struck in Silver, Ciani 1978, Duplessy 1580, Gadoury 8

Currency:CAD Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:2,500.00 CAD Estimated At:5,000.00 - 7,500.00 CAD
1658-A [Paris Mint] Pattern Sizain, piedfort, struck in Silver, Ciani 1978, Duplessy 1580, Gadoury 8
4,800.00CAD+ (960.00) buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2019 May 02 @ 18:29UTC-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.

1658-A [Paris Mint] Pattern Sizain, piedfort, struck in Silver, Ciani 1978, Duplessy 1580, Gadoury 84, Droulers P.016, Breen Unlisted. Choice Extremely Fine, boldly struck, the legends, date, mintmark and all the design details sharp; in all likelihood a coin that never entered actual circulation but which has some light friction from 250+ years storage in coin cabinets. Lovely light silvery grey, with some light toning around the peripheries; the surfaces hard and choice, and a pleasing example of this extremely rare type. Struck in silver, as a piedfort (double thickness) – or nearly so, the present specimen weighs 1.5 grams compared to an authorized weight of .927 grams. We know of two other silver piedforts that each weigh 1.8 grams, and though no study has been done of the few extant specimens, it is likely that the different weights and thicknesses were purposely done, this specimen closer to 1½ thickness than double; whether this was done to test the dies with different strikes, or as presentation specimens for varying degrees of importance is unknown, but definitely intriguing! There was an example of this type in the Ford collection which was mistakenly catalogued as a douzain, but with the note that it was a confusing piece that was the weight of a douzain but the diameter of a demi-douzain, i.e. a sizain; the cataloguer there noted that “Mr. Ford wondered, given the anomalous weight of the piece, whether this might not have been a pattern or presentation strike.” The answer to that is clear since that coin was a piedfort sizain, not a douzain, and piedforts were produced only as special pieces, either as patterns or for presentation. The Ford coin, a lovely AU, sold in 2006 for $16,100 (US) to a dealer and soon entered one of the finest collections of French Colonies pieces ever formed (and is the sole slabbed example noted on the PCGS website). We are aware of just one other auction record for this type in North America, a coin sold by Heritage two years prior to the Ford sale, as part of the “Enterprise Collection,” which was also a silver piedfort that weighed the same as the Ford coin. Completely unlisted in silver or as a piedfort by Breen (who does list the billon issue as his 275), where it was unrecognized as being part of the North American coinages. An EXTREMELY RARE coin, which Duplessy states as being struck August 14, 1658 (along with the douzain denomination). Unlike the 1641-A piece listed above, none of the reference works cite an example in any of the French museum collections, and we have been unable to verify any in museums there; the issue is not in the collections of the British Museum, the Bank of Canada collection or the American Numismatic Society, a very striking comment on rarity indeed. An extremely important piece for the specialist or for the museum wishing to add another layer to their collection of French or North American relevant coinages; with only two auction appearances in North America for over a quarter century, it is a rare opportunity to acquire something very special.