Author Topic: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?  (Read 319 times)

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Offline FosseWay

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Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« on: September 20, 2021, 03:04:13 PM »
Unusually for me, this coin is in plenty good enough condition to attribute it to country, denomination, ruler, date and mint without problem  ;D

But the relatively good state of preservation also reveals a stray dot below the D of LUDOV. It's also clear enough to see that it is a real dot, like the ones between the words, and not just crud on the die or random damage.

Does this dot mean anything?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2021, 07:51:36 PM »
Duplessy shows a similar dot on a sketch of a demi sol (Dy 1715), but is silent on the explanation.

I have no documentary evidence, but I suspect that it is a "secret sign" that distinguishes the pure copper from the mixed copper/brass coins. This is due to the ordinance of 25th June 1791 that ordered melting church bells to be coined. The problem with this ordinance is that some church bells would be copper while others would be brass. The coin metal therefore had a variable quality.

I have some old issues of "Numismatique & Change" that contain a longish article on the coins of the French revolution. If they contain anything useful, I'll let you know. Meanwhile you may want to contact Maudry. He did a photo collection on French revolution coinage: here. Another useful contact would be Guillaume Hermann, who is a superb researcher.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 01:21:41 PM »
I did some more research, but found nothing particularly useful for this thread. A number of mints created auxiliary mints indicated with dots, but a) the dots were always around the mint letter b) La Rochelle did not have an auxiliary mint and c) the auxiliary mints started work only in 1792. I did find the extra dot on the sol and demi sol as well as on a silver 1/10 écu, always below the D in LUD. The dot on the silver coin is important in that it blows up my theory that it had to do with bell metal.

Got hold of the decree that created the bell metal coins. Nothing there either, but an interesting piece of legislation. Still, no new information on the dot.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2021, 02:20:13 PM »
Thanks Peter.

When I got a bit further on with looking at these revolutionary period coins in greater depth, I noticed that for example the 12 deniers of the "constitutional monarchy" period just before Louis is deposed has a lot of mint variations based on dot(s) associated with the mint letter.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2021, 02:54:55 PM »
Indeed. Those are the auxiliary mints a wrote about above. Frédéric Droulers investigated them in depth. They all started minting in 1792 only.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Guillaume Hermann

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2021, 09:03:15 AM »
Hi,

It is a "point de semestre" ("semester dot") meaning that your coin has been struck during the second semester of its year. This system has been used from 1716 only in Paris mint on that time, then extended to many mints, but not all of them, under Louis XVI, mainly for gold and silver coins, but sometimes for bronze coins too. It was a kind of "non systematic system"  ;D  It disappeared during the Revolution.
It is especially common during the constitutional monarchy.
Many exemples on internet, here are the explanations I give you in addition with a photo (on a silver coin) https://multicollec.net/1-mo-h1/1h144

Here in a bronze coin of 1791 but from Paris http://www.comptoir-des-monnaies.com/product_info.php/louis-xvi-sol-lecu-1791-paris-km-5781-p-28985

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2021, 09:23:39 AM »
Merci beaucoup encore une fois, Guillaume :)

That explains it perfectly!

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2021, 09:41:40 AM »
My thanks added, Guillaume. Always happy to learn.

Little side note. Unlike in English, where the word semester is used to divide school years, in French semestre applies to the first or second six months of the year.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2021, 09:44:41 AM »
Little side note. Unlike in English, where the word semester is used to divide school years, in French semestre applies to the first or second six months of the year.

And in Swedish, semester = vacation, or the gap *between* the two halves of the year. Go figure!

Offline Guillaume Hermann

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2021, 08:46:26 AM »
You are welcome gentlemen !  :)

Offline CannedMeat

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Re: Louis XVI liard 1791H : extra dot?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2021, 01:01:17 PM »
The word semester comes from Latin and literally means six months. The adaptation to shorter school periods (half a "school" year instead of half a year) is an adaptation. The Swedish use is probably a contraction from a phrase like "semester break".