Author Topic: French coin weight with three counterstamps  (Read 151 times)

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Online redwine

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French coin weight with three counterstamps
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:39:28 AM »
V D XII G
5 deniers & 12 grains
5D = 6.375g
12G = 0.777g
Should weigh=7.152g

Actual weight 6.85g
Brass
19.7mm
2.9mm depth
Countermarks :
1. Fleur-de-lis / fleur-de-lys
2. L within L shaped stamp
3. Unknown

According to Le caissier italien by Jean Michel Benaven 1787 (Tome 1 p144) the French gold coin known as the Vieux weighed 5 deniers & 12 grains.

The weight listed here http://www.cgb.fr/louis-xiii-le-juste-poids-monetaire-pour-le-demi-franc-de-forme-circulaire-n-d-tb,bry_441183,a.html weighs 6.74g, it's a bit worn.
CGB say it is for the circular silver half franc like this.  http://www.cgb.fr/louis-xiii-le-juste-demi-franc-a-la-tete-nue-adolescente-de-saint-lo-1616-saint-lo-ttb,bry_424838,a.html

Any ideas on what that third stamp is? 
And why are the weights so off?
Many thanks.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 09:04:00 AM by redwine »
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Online malj1

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2017, 11:58:26 AM »
I think it may be a goat.
Malcolm
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Online redwine

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 12:11:52 PM »
Unexpected!  ;D
Looking for that goat I found a rabbit  ::)
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Offline EWC

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2017, 12:18:41 PM »
Concerning the supposed weight discrepancy.

Coin weights determine the legally valid weight for trade.

You have to have in mind four standards

1) the theoretical issue weight

2) the lowest weight the mint is supposed to issue

3) the lowest weight the mint actually does issue

4) The lowest weight at which the coin is still valid for trade

Coin weights are to (4) - the lowest of these

It appears the weight in question is a tad over 4% below theoretical

It fairly easy to find periods when 10% below or even 12.5% below was stipulated.

Actually, in late 17th century England, silver 20% below seems to have been circulating.

My motto?

However complicated you think things are, they are ALWAYS more complicated than that.............

Rob T

Online redwine

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2017, 12:40:40 PM »
Many thanks for that Rob  8)
So to complicate it further.  The counterstamps.  ;D
Perhaps one was the maker, the 'L'.  Another, national certification, the fleur.  The last may be a regional usage symbol - the rabbity goat.
Or introducing time, each may have certified that it was still useable within a timeframe?
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2017, 12:49:23 PM »
In view of the wear, I find the weight difference quite acceptable.

While taking EWC's point, I wonder if it was reflected in weighing pieces. Perhaps it was more like "this is what it is supposed to weigh, but I'll accept it up to that" with "this" being the official weight and the weight of the weighing pice and "that" being a margin as in EWC's post - I would expect few pieces in circulation to reach official weight and none being above the official weight. Take into account that coin weights were supposed to be checked and approved officially in France. Hence the counterstamps.

On what the weighing piece was used for: normally, the design on the weighing piece is a good clue, as it would be inspired by the coin.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 11:18:26 PM by Figleaf »
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Offline Manzikert

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2017, 05:04:05 PM »
The third stamp is a lion passant gardant left, similar to the English silver hallmarks but with the lion looking left.

In your first pictures I thought I possibly saw a wing, as on the lion of St Mark, but on your latest photo it is clearly just the usual 'S' curved tail with a tuft on the end.

I'm not aware of the hallmark or variations being used on weights, so I think we have to look for a city or state that has this heraldic lion as part of its arms.

Alan

Online redwine

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2017, 05:38:42 PM »
Many thanks Alan  ;D
I can't see it though  :'(
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Offline Manzikert

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2017, 10:20:57 PM »
See image below, allowing for my terrible drawing skills!

Alan

Online redwine

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Re: French coin weight with three counterstamps
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2017, 01:06:39 PM »
Better than mine!!  ;)
Franche Comté. Comté de Bourgogne has a similar lion.
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