World Coins

MDC Monaco holds French auction with focus on silver

The highlight of MDC Monaco’s auction of French silver ecu coins is the 1715 coin struck at Lille under King Louis XV.

Images courtesy of MDC Monaco.

A collection of French silver ecus is coming to auction in a May 5 sale from MDC Monaco.

The firm’s e-auction No. 9 offers a collection of the iconic French coins, as issued by Louis XIV and Louis XV, in 1,465 lots.

The silver ecu, or ecu blanc, first appeared under Louis XIII in 1641, and was equivalent to 60 sols. Fractional versions were also issued. During the reign of Louis XV, the coin’s value varied between 3, 5 and 6 silver livres, and was worth 6 livres during the reign of Louis XVI.

Standing on tradition

MDC Monaco’s sale of the ecu collection is online only, but the firm has created a catalog for the event. In a nod to the 1977 auction of the famous George Sobin collection, the 2024 sale catalog has a blue cover, just like the earlier sale.

“We have no doubt that this catalog will leave its mark on many collectors who will enjoy keeping it in their numismatic library,” the firm said, according to a translation of introductory text in the auction catalog.

The Sobin collection was remarkable for offering a span of 1,336 ecu coins, issued from the reign of Louis XIII to the introduction of the Constitution of France, but the MDC Monaco sale is more limited in scope. Still, it offers more than 140 examples unknown to Sobin at the time of the sale of his collection, which was the also the basis for a book issued three years earlier.

A highlight of the MDC Monaco sale is a 1715 coin of Louis XV, from the Lille Mint.

The coin weighs 30.2 grams and measures 41 millimeters in diameter, about the size and weight of an American Eagle silver dollar.

The coin has some regular wear and a nice gray patina, and the firm grades it Very Fine to Superb. It has an opening bid of €10,000 ($10,742 U.S.).

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