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Revolution !


Qcumbor

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Hi friends,

Because she likes that part of History, and even though she doesn't collect anything at all, my wife has often said, should she collect coins it would be that of the French Revolution period. My first goal in life being to please her, I decided to sacrify myself on the altar of generosity and put together a little series of them 😄

In no particular order, other than inspiration of the moment :

 

 

Gad76-An6A-g.thumb.jpg.c8d7a0198aaa673d6b48e86217d554f8.jpg

Directoire - 1 centimes l'An 6 A - Atelier de Paris 

DIRECTOIRE (26/10/1795-9-10/11/1799) - 1 centime
.REPUBLIQUE  FRANÇAISE. Buste drapĂ© de la LibertĂ© Ă  gauche coiffĂ©e du bonnet phrygien, signature DuprĂ© Ă  l'exergue
UN / CENTIME / L'AN 6 . / A en quatre lignes
2,05 gr - 18 mm

Variété avec petit 6, et 53/50 perles
Ref : Le Franc 10 # 100/4, Gadoury # 76

 

Gad187-An7A-s.jpg.862eee680a21fea228baf52d29066b06.jpg

Directoire - Un Décime l'An 7 A - Atelier de Paris (A)

DIRECTOIRE (26/10/1795-9-10/11/1799) - Un Décime grand module
.REPUBLIQUE - FRANÇAISE.* Buste drapĂ© de la LibertĂ© Ă  gauche coiffĂ©e du bonnet phrygien, signature DuprĂ© Ă  l'exergue
UN / DECIME / L'AN 7 . / A en quatre lignes, dans une couronne de chĂȘne
19,31 gr - 32 mm

Variété 7/5 et coq regravé sur corne d'abondance ?
Ref : Le Franc 10 # 129/14, Gadoury # 187

 

Gad39-1792I_1-s.jpg.2e8aff06542fb41810bd7f3c022223ae.jpg

Louis XVI, Constitution - 30 sols 1792 I - Atelier de Limoges 
. LOUIS XVI ROI DES FRANCOIS . a l'exergue 1792, buste drapé a gauche
REGNE DE LA LOI, le genie de la liberté a droite, gravant la CONSTITUTION.
Dans le champ 30 | SOLS . et I, a l'exergue L'AN 4 DE LA LIBERTE . en deux lignes
10.16 gr
Ref : Ciani # 2241

 

Please feel free to comment and post anything you feel relevant

To be continued...

Q

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One of my favorites from the period.

1792 "five sols" coin (?) or token minted by private company Freres Monneron using a steam mill. Entrepreneurial brothers exploited a loophole in French laws which briefly allowed private interests to mint coinage.

The Monnerons made these tokens in huge numbers and they were actually widely used as tender because of combination of coinage shortage, obvious artistic quality and political considerations (the king's effigy is notably tiny which made it more desirable in then-current political climate). The loophole was quickly fixed by the French legislature which forced the Monneron tokens out of circulation. Not that it changed much because the Monnerons were already out of business by then.

 

ZomboDroid 28052022151821.jpg

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18 hours ago, Troyden said:

One of my favorites from the period.

1792 "five sols" coin (?) or token minted by private company Freres Monneron using a steam mill. Entrepreneurial brothers exploited a loophole in French laws which briefly allowed private interests to mint coinage.

The Monnerons made these tokens in huge numbers and they were actually widely used as tender because of combination of coinage shortage, obvious artistic quality and political considerations (the king's effigy is notably tiny which made it more desirable in then-current political climate). The loophole was quickly fixed by the French legislature which forced the Monneron tokens out of circulation. Not that it changed much because the Monnerons were already out of business by then.

 

ZomboDroid 28052022151821.jpg

Really nice! I have a 1791 Monneron Freres token, but it's nowhere near as nice as yours 🙂

 

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Screen Shot 2022-05-29 at 08.51.08.png

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The siege of Mainz (source Wikipedia)

"In the siege of Mainz (German: Belagerung von Mainz), from 14 April to 23 July 1793, a coalition of Prussia, Austria, and other German states led by the Holy Roman Empire besieged and captured Mainz from revolutionary French forces. The allies, especially the Prussians, first tried negotiations, but this failed, and the bombardment of the city began on the night of 17 June.

Within the town the siege and bombardment led to stress between citizens, municipality and the French war council, governing since 2 April. The city administration was displaced on 13 July; this increased the stubbornness of the remaining population. Since a relief army was missing, the war council was forced to take up negotiations with the allied forces on 17 July; the remaining soldiers capitulated on 23 July.

Nearly 19,000 French troops surrendered at the end of the siege, but were allowed to return to France if they promised not to fight against the allies for one year. Consequently, they were used to fight French royalists in the Vendée region of France. They left the town singing La Marseillaise (also known as the Chant de guerre de l'Armée du Rhin).

The Republic of Mainz, the first democratic state on the later German territory, was subsequently dissolved. Mainz received a Prussian commander to administer the city. The bombardment had left devastating traces in the townscape: some civil buildings and aristocratic palaces like the comedy house, the electoral pleasure palace Favorite, the House of the Cathedral Provost, Liebfrauen- and the church of Society of Jesus had been destroyed, as well as St. Crucis, the Benedictine abbey St. Jacob on the citadel and the remains of St. Alban's Abbey. The cathedral had been heavily damaged.

The biggest impact of the occupation and siege was that the city's part in the old imperial electoral structure finally came to their end. Thus the events of the year 1793 also marked the end of Aurea Moguntia, the Latin nickname for the city: "Golden Mainz". The city lost its status as the electoral residence.

The shelling of Mainz was widely discussed in Europe. Many people gathered round the town in order to view the siege. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe assisted Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar during the siege and wrote a famous book about it."

During the siege, the population there had to mint in emergency for everyday use. Three denominations are known to exist, 1 sol, 2 sols and 5 sols. They're uncommon rather than rare

 

Gad66-1793-s.jpg.ea88a54047d117b5bc7ead1f798a406c.jpg

SiÚge de Mayence - 2 sols 1793 - Atelier de Mayence (Mainz) 

REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE / 1793 L'AN 2Ꮁ Faisceau de licteur surmontĂ© d'un bonnet phrygien, dans une couronne de chĂȘne (variĂ©tĂ© Ă  trois branches)

MONOYE DE SIEGE DE MAYENCE - au centre 2 SOLS en deux lignes entre trois roses

9,19 gr - 25 mm

Ref : Gadoury # 66

 

Gad66a-1793-s.jpg.6d3f66ba62acbbd7a8b1d49738ed6b53.jpg

SiÚge de Mayence - 2 sols 1793 - Atelier de Mayence (Mainz) 

REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE / 1793 L'AN 2Ꮁ Faisceau de licteur surmontĂ© d'un bonnet phrygien, dans une couronne de chĂȘne (variĂ©tĂ© Ă  rameaux simples)

MONOYE DE SIEGE DE MAYENCE - au centre 2 SOLS en deux lignes entre trois roses

7,07 gr - 23 mm

Ref : Gadoury # 66a

 

Gad67-1793-s.jpg.f54ddd21b01ae756311b59f470a3b4ec.jpg

SiÚge de Mayence - 5 sols 1793 - Atelier de Mayence (Mainz) 

REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE / 1793 L'AN 2Ꮁ Faisceau de licteur surmontĂ© d'un bonnet phrygien, dans une couronne de chĂȘne 

MONOYE DE SIEGE DE MAYENCE - au centre 5 SOLS en deux lignes entre trois roses

14,71 gr - 31 mm

Ref : Gadoury # 67

 

Q

Edited by Qcumbor
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  • 1 year later...

This thread needs an update. I've been working on my French revolution collection lately and could add a few new items.

First I was able to add the two monnerons (2 sols and 5 sols) shown above by @AncientNumis and @Troyden

As has already been said they were privately minted by the freres Monneron because of the shortage in change in these troubled times.

VG233-1791-1-g.jpg.7a350c541efdb6fd98b3874700c118c8.jpg

VG291-1792-1-g.jpg.bee4e2bfe90d75f355e605e71b3bbfd0.jpg

 

"Les FrĂšres Monneron" was built up in England by Matthew Boulton, thanks to the steam engine of James Watt, producing 2 and 5 sols coins in great quantities at the Soho factory in Birmingham from the end of 1791 (the same that issued the cartwheel penny and two pence in 1797)
These pieces of necessity money eased the coinage shortage then current in France and their technical and aesthetic quality was much superior to mediocre base metal issues produced by official sources.
In March 1792, the Monnerons went bankrupt and Pierre fled. His brother Augustin took over the business, but a law of 3 May 1792 forbade the production of money by private concerns. In September a decree forbade the commercialisation of confidence-coins. These necessity coins were in circulation until the end of 1793.

Q

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Very Nice selection of coinage from the era of the French Revolution. Congratulations!

 

I collect coins from that epoque as well, primarily German States, but have added a few French Revolution coins when the opportunity arose.

These are same of my examples:

The Ecu from Montpellier is very scarce. It was struck not too long before King Louis was executed in January 1793.

The Ecu de 6 Livres from the Convention Nationale are from the Lyon and Lille mints. These were struck at a time when the guillotine worked night and day during the "Regne de la Terreur".  

 

 

 

France ecu d'or louis XVI 1790 Atelier N - Montpeller - OBV1 N VGP.jpg

1793 Ecu de Six Livres Lille W - OBV:REV - GP .png

Ecu de SIX LIVRES LYON D 1793 (my example) - 1.jpg

Edited by GERMANICVS
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Thanks @GERMANICVS for those beautiful examples. The gold ecu from the Montpellier mint is indeed very scarce.
I'm on the lookout myself for an ecu de six livres of the Convention Nationale. I was very recently able to add an ecu de six livres of the Constitution (same as the above but still with the portrait of Louis XVI)

af9bd1f44be14d67a1c7979be09a18cf.jpg

Constitution - Ecu de six livres 1792 - Atelier de Limoges (I)
LOUIS XVI ROI DES FRANCOIS . à l'exergue 1792, buste à gauche. Au dessus de la date, faisceau, différent du directeur François Alluaud (1791-An II)
REGNE DE LA LOI, le Génie de la liberté à droite, gravant la CONSTITUTION. 
Dans le champ à gauche, faisceau de licteur surmonté d'un bonnet phrygien et croix, différent du graveur J-B La Vallée (1780-1793). Dans le champ à droite, coq et lettre d'atelier I (Limoges). A l'exergue L'AN 4 DE LA LIBERTE . en deux lignes. Signature Dupré sur le piédestal.

Tranche inscrite : (rose) LA NATION (rose) (fleuron).. (losange).. (fleuron) (rose) LA LOI (rose) (fleuron) (lis) (fleuron) (rose) ET LE ROI (rose) (fleuron) (lis) (fleuron)
29,48 gr - 39 mm
Ref : Ciani # 2238, Gadoury # 55

Q

Edited by Qcumbor
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  • 4 months later...

My first purchase of importance arrived earlier this week. I'm very pleased to welcome in my trays echoes what I was writing four months ago :

On 9/18/2023 at 3:52 PM, Qcumbor said:

I'm on the lookout myself for an ecu de six livres of the Convention Nationale. I was very recently able to add an ecu de six livres of the Constitution (same as the above but still with the portrait of Louis XVI)

Here is an ecu de six livres of the Convention Nationale, minted in 1793 at Paris mint

fe8bc98ef27f423ebdad21e0a1744710.jpg

Convention - Ecu de six livres 1793 - Atelier de Paris (A)
Lyre (diffĂ©rent du graveur François Bernier (1774-1793) ‱ REPUBLIQUE FRANCOISE ‱ / L'AN II ‱ autour d'une couronne de chĂȘne. Au centre SIX / LIVRES ‱ / — / A.  En fin de lĂ©gende lĂ©opard, diffĂ©rent du directeur Alexandre-Louis Roettiers de Montaleau (1791-An II)
REGNE DE LA LOI ‱ le GĂ©nie de la libertĂ© Ă  droite, gravant la CONSTITUTION. 
Dans le champ à gauche, faisceau de licteur surmonté d'un bonnet phrygien. Dans le champ à droite, coq. A l'exergue 1793 Signature Dupré sur le piédestal.

Tranche inscrite : LIBERTE (bonnet phrygien) (rinceau) ÉGALITÉ. (niveau) (rinceau)
29,59 gr - 39 mm
Ref : Clairand # 37100, Gadoury # 58

 

Q

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I suppose this new acquisition should more properly belong in the Exonumia forum, but it's certainly thematically relevant here, so here it goes.

In a different thread, I recently posted my 1789 "Siege of the Bastille" uniface medal by Bertrand Andrieu (see https://www.numisforums.com/topic/5800-happy-with-the-choice-i-made-uniface-siege-of-bastille-medalwas-which-of-these-two-specimens-do-you-prefer/#comment-77306 ) :

image.jpeg.2e187e2ef49420d619f8138e346e5b66.jpeg

To accompany that medal, here is another, from 1793 -- struck in England and designed by a German medallist obviously sympathetic to the French royal family -- depicting the execution of Louis XVI as a terrible event, but nonetheless capturing some of the excitement of the moment:

France, AE Execution of Louis XVI, 1793, by Conrad Heinrich KĂŒchler. Struck at Matthew Boulton’s Soho mint, Birmingham, UK.

Obv. Conjoined busts of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette right; around beginning at 8:00, LUD‱XVI D:G‱FR‱ET NAV‱REX‱MAR‱ANT‱AUSTR‱REG‱ (Ludovicus decimu - sextus Dei gratiĂą FranciĂŠ et NavarrĂŠ rex. Maria Antonia Austriaca regina. = Louis XVI, by the grace of God, King of France and of Navarre. Marie Antoinette Queen of Austria.); beneath busts, FATI INIQUI ("By an Unjust Fate"); on bust truncation of King, C.H.K. (initials of C.H. KĂŒchler) /

Rev. View of the Place de la RĂ©volution [now the Place de la Concorde] in Paris, filled with citizens and troops, at the moment after the execution of Louis XVI; on the scaffold in the middle of the square, the executioner, Charles Henri Sanson, stands to the left of the guillotine holding up the head of Louis XVI by the hair, displaying it to the surrounding crowd; two other persons stand on the scaffold, one pointing to Sanson and the other looking at the crowd with his arms folded; two banners rise from the crowd at the front of the square, the one to the left reading DROIT [droits] DE L'HOMME (“the Rights of Man”), and the other, to the right, depicting a fasces surmounted by the cap of Liberty and a set of scales, with the words VIVRE LIBR [libres] (“Live Free”) at the bottom; around, within a banderole, CRINEMQUE ROTANTES SANGUINEUM POPULIS ULULARUNT TRISTLA GALLI ‱ (from Pharsalia by Lucan, Book 1, verses 566-567; = “shaking their bloody locks, the Gauls [the French] frightened the people with their mournful howls” [from French translation of legend found in Hennin and TrĂ©sor de Numismatique, infra], OR = “And Gauls, shaking blood-red locks, howled evil tidings to the world” [translation by George F. Hill found in British Museum Guide to the Exhibition of Historical Medals, infra], OR = “the Galli (priests of Cybele) whirled their gory locks, shrieking ruin to the nations” [translation of verses in Lucan at https://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Latin/PharsaliaImaster.php]); in exergue, in two lines, XXI JANUARIUS | ANNO MDCCXCIII; within exergue lines, “P.” ( = Philippe, an engraver at the Soho Mint; see Hennin p. 316).

51 mm., 70.91 g.

References:

Hennin 465 pp. 315-316 (ill. Planche 45) [Michel Hennin, Histoire numismatique de la révolution française . . . depuis l'ouverture des Etats-généraux jusqu'à l'établissement du gouvernement consulaire (Paris 1826)]*;

TrĂ©sor de Numismatique (“T.N.”) Vol. 13, No. 40.5 p. 47, ill. Planche XL No. 5 [Paul Delaroche, Henriquel Dupont & Charles Lenormant, eds., TrĂ©sor de numismatique et de glyptique Fol. 13, MĂ©dailles de la RĂ©volution Française, 5 Mai 1789 - 18 Mai 1804 (1836), available at Google Books];

Julius 255 p. 16 [AE version] (AR version, No. 254, ill. Taf. 5) [Sammlung Dr. [Paul] Julius, Heidelberg: Französische Revolution Napoleon I. und seine Zeit : Medaillen, Orden und Ehrenzeichen, MĂŒnzen (Auktion 11 Jan. 1932, Otto Helbing Nachf., MĂŒnchen, Auktions-Katalog 66) (available at Newman Numismatic Portal];

George F. Hill & G.C. Brooke, A Guide to the Exhibition of Historical Medals at the British Museum, No. 79 at pp. 122-123 (ill. Fig. 109 p. 122) (London 1924).

Purchased at Spink USA Auction 394, 31 Jan. 2024, Lot 108.

The Spink photo, which I don't think reflects the medal's actual chocolate brown color particularly well:

image.jpeg.7e3ed3c0ab9fb8efdbc22c9dbb0860b8.jpeg

My own attempt to photograph the medal in a way that both shows the color a little better, and still allows one to see the details of the scene on the reverse:

image.jpeg.febb4a132f12829237145f2ae38f23fb.jpeg

image.jpeg.cafd554e77939022a150a3ea22c4c0d6.jpeg

*This is Hennin’s commentary on the medal, at p. 315:

image.png.015e07ccbdc44e8fdc7e4dd9fd202acf.png

A translation of the most salient portions:

“No medal was struck in France relating to the death of Louis XVI, during the years 1793 and 1794. The government of the time did not order one; and no one, as it is easy to imagine, conceived the idea of consecrating the memory of such an event with approving medals. . . . The medal described in this entry and the following ones . . . were struck outside France and widely distributed. The terrible impression produced by the death of the French monarch and the veneration which attached to his memory inspired the idea of these medals, and they were published in the principal capitals of Europe. Writings and newspapers of the time report that they were found in the pockets of enemy soldiers killed or captured [by the French], and especially in those of emigrants. One carried, as painful memories, these medals, of which a large number were struck, as we can judge by the following entries and by those which are found with the date of October 16 of the same year, for the medals relating to both the death of the King and that of the Queen. As soon as the Reign of Terror was over, and under the government of the Directorate, images of Louis XVI multiplied in France. No medals were struck [in France] in honor of this prince, because doing so would undoubtedly have encountered difficulties too great, but various clichĂ©s or repoussĂ©s were made. We will find four of these pieces described under Nos. 491 to 494. Under the Consulate, the portraits of Louis XVI became even more numerous.”

KĂŒchler issued a companion medal after the execution of Marie Antoinette later that year, although that one is definitely less graphic, refraining from showing the actual event.

 

 

Edited by DonnaML
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  • Benefactor

For comparison purposes, here's a present-day photo of the Place de la Concorde in Paris, renamed as such in 1795, formerly the Place de la Révolution -- the site of the execution of Louis XVI, as depicted on the new medal I posted above. The buildings in the background really haven't changed. See https://leftinparis.org/places/place-de-la-concorde/ :

image.png.dfba013b266307db9dac2854854fc27d.png

At the same link, here's an old engraving depicting the execution:

image.png.816ae605b77a61d7a324972e9b7843e8.png

The only major difference from the scene on the medal seems to be positioning of the executioner to the right of the guillotine instead of the left, and the converse for the other two men standing on the scaffold.

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Thanks for posting those very impressive medals @DonnaML. They are beautiful !

The one showing the execution of Louis XVI is outstanding. Four years ago, on the "other forum", I commited a thread (featured since) which i somewhat cleverly titled "the shortened King"

 

About your first medal, commemorating the siĂšge de la Bastille, I have a modern version of it (private strike in the 80's if I recall correctly), which is silver, 21mm and 6,45gr (sorry, the ugly picture isn't mine)

19 hours ago, DonnaML said:

image.jpeg.2e187e2ef49420d619f8138e346e5b66.jpeg

 

606289f2768c45.01628001-200.jpg606289f3920527.96852765-200.jpg

 

Q

Edited by Qcumbor
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2 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

Thanks for posting those very impressive medals @DonnaML. They are beautiful !

The one showing the execution of Louis XVI is outstanding. Four years ago, on the "other forum", I commited a thread (featured since) which i somewhat cleverly titled "the shortened King"

 

About your first medal, commemorating the siĂšge de la Bastille, I have a modern version of it (private strike in the 80's if I recall correctly), which is silver, 21mm and 6,45gr (sorry, the ugly picture isn't mine)

 

606289f2768c45.01628001-200.jpg606289f3920527.96852765-200.jpg

 

Q

Thank you, @Qcumbor. I enjoyed reading your old Coin Talk thread about Louis XVI. You created it just before I joined that forum in late January 2020. Despite my very hard feelings towards the place when I left it (along with many others), my active participation there really helped me get through the worst of the pandemic.

Here is my one post-Revolution actual coin (as opposed to the execution medal) depicting Louis XVI:

France, AR Ecu de 6 livres françois, Paris 1792 (L'An 4), Mintmark A. Obv. Bare head Left, LOUIS XVI ROI DES FRANCOIS/ Rev. Winged Genius of France standing right, inscribing Constitution on tablet set on column (with title "CONSTI-[TUT]ION" visible); in left field, fasces topped by liberty cap; in right field, rooster standing left; REGNE DE LA LOI. In exergue, in two lines: L'AN 4 DE LA LIBERTE. KM 615.1, Davenport 1335, Gadoury 55. 39 mm., 29.4 g. Purchased March 5, 1986 from Harmer, Rooke Numismatists, Ltd., New York.

[IMG]

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