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French Jetons


bill
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Having enjoyed posts by Ian and Elverno, I was tempted to buy my first French jeton because it related to another of my collecting topics. I enjoyed that purchase and it has led to a new collecting topic that I will share in posts via this thread.

 

The first I've shown elsewhere, so this is a repeat.

 

1689 Provost and Advisors of Chartres

27.4 mm Bronze

Obv: Coat of arms of Chartres, * PRÆTOR. ET. ÆDILES. CARNOTENSES. (The provost and advisers of Chartres.)

Rev: City view, GLORIOSA. DICTA. SVNT. DE. TE. CIVITAS. (Oh city, your subjects give you glorious praise.)

Feuardent 8240

 

912707.jpg

 

The view is from the south over the rive Eure with the cathedral in the center of the image. I found the following on the web in the collection hosted by the University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library:

 

Engraving by Nicolas Tassin; from his Atlas Les plans et profils de toutes les principales villes et lieux considerables de France. Ensemble les cartes generales de chacune province : & les particulieres de chaque gouvernement d'icelles. Paris: Melchior Tavernier, 1634.

 

http://images.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/i/i...s;quality=m1200

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1654 King's Council

27 mm Copper

Obv: Arms of France and crown enclosed in double collar, NIL NISI CONSILIO (Nothing without counsel).

Rev: Lily blooming in falling rain, NOVO RECREABIT ODORE (It reappears with a new fragrance).

Feuardent 207

 

914449.jpg

 

The lily blossoming in the celestial rain symbolizes the rebirth of France under Louis XIV and the Renaissance

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1656 Army Accountants

24mm Silver

Obv: Crown with crests of France and Navarre below. Monogram of Louis XIV. Double collar, ORDINAIRE DES GVERRES (the army accountants).

Rev: A celestial shield appearing from the clouds above the country side. OPPORTVNVS ADEST / 1656 (Opportune appearance).

Feuradent 420

 

914445.jpg

 

This is a version of the so-called UFO tokens. The celestial shield represents the military protecting the French countryside from its enemies. The ordinaire des guerres indicates the standing army. As I understand the structure, the accountants were responsible for collecting taxes from the king's subjects and paying the army. The administrative heads were responsible for fronting or borrowing the funds to pay the army if they were slow or experienced difficulty in raising the funds. Status, position, and influence with the king presumably made the system work.

 

A local vineyard, Bonny Doon, produces a Rhone varietal called Le Cigare Volant. The Flying Cigar is obviously a UFO. The winery's owner, Randall Graham, notes that the Chataeu neufs-du-Papes community outlawed the landing of UFOs in vineyards and authorized the vineyard owners to sieze them if they broke the law. He notes that the law has been very effective. No UFOs have landed in the past 50 years! Graham's hommage to the celestial shield appears in the upper left corner of his label:

 

label_CVC02C.jpg

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1723 Royal Monneyers (the Paris Mint)

29mm Silver

Obv: Bust of Louis right, LUD. XV REX CHRISTIANISSIMUS (King Louis XV Most Christian).

Rev: Screw press, basket of planchets, tongs, and struck coins, ET LEGE ET PONDERE / MONNOYE / 1723 (Both Law and Weight, French Money).

Feuradent 2208

 

914450.jpg

 

I selected this token because of its obvious tie to coint collecting. It pictures the screw press used for minting coins at the time along with the baskets of planchets, tongs, etc.

 

The French mint web pages show a screw press of Louis the XIV:

 

balancier.jpg

 

An early illustration of the press in use (from Diderot's 1751 encyclopedia of science and art):

 

screw-press.gif

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...the UFOlogists are going to be after your jeton big time. Seriously, a lot of people are into having one of those / similar jetons.

 

If i'm not mistaken the one with the screw press was issued for the monneyers at La Monnoye (ie Paris Mint). The same reverse design was used from Louis XIIII through to Louis XVI. You will also find that there were different bust types used during the reigns of Louis XV and XVI. Many jetons have Christian., or Christianis., or Christianiss., in the legends. Very few of the types i've come across actually have the unabbreviated `Christianissimus', which means `most Christian'.

 

Here's a thread on a similar vein from November last year.

 

http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php?showto...3&hl=la+monnaie

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Here's a thread on a similar vein from November last year.

 

http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php?showto...p;hl=la+monnaie

 

Thank you Ian. That's what I like about this place, so many knowledgable people willing to share. I have a 1904 copy of Feuardent on the way from France. Perhaps I can add more information after it arrives. It will at least help with planning future purchases. For now, I've just scanned catalogs for things that look interesting. My habit is to buy a few pieces here and there until I hit on a theme of interest. The 1600s with its interesting history and symbolism seems a likely theme.

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locc5834.jpg

 

Feuardent's Jetons et Méreaux arrived today. I was going to spend the weekend learning more about the subject and sketching out some themes for collecting. All three volumes are uncut! The cover of volume one shows foxing or the effect of something sprayed across it in the past. The other two volumes are pristine. It is a slow process properly cutting uncut pages. Looks like most of this weekend will be opening the treasure. 100 year old pristine volumes? Priceless!

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  • 3 weeks later...

1748 Mayor of Dijon

29.5 mm, Copper

Obv: Arms of Dijon in laural wreath. JEAN Pre. BURTEUR CONer AU PARLEMt VIC. MAY. DE DIJON 1748.

Rev: Arms crowned and supported by two natives, signature DV. (Engraver Duvivier) CERTÆ CONTINGERE METAM. (Resolved to acheive the goal.)

Feuardent 10104

 

915657.jpg

 

Jean-Pierre Burteur retired as mayor of Dijon, May 25, 1750, after nineteen consecutive years.

 

The town of Dijon had a municipal mayor and in general twenty magistrates or aldermen at the onset of the feudal period. These magistrates are confirmed in 1187, when a Charter of commune is granted by Duke Hugues III. At the end of the 13th century, the mayor assumed the title of Viscount Major in 1477-1479 per Louis XI, and the office continued until 1789. The keys of the city were entrusted to him and he directed the archers as well as the companies of the seven districts, this military function being important until the 17th century. The Viscount Mayor was elected by the productive inhabitants of Dijon, in general the day before Midsummer's Day. In 1692, the function of Viscount Mayor was converted to a hereditary office with confirmation of the royal choice made by the governor in the name of the king.

 

Although I am tending towards jetons with allegorial and historical scenes and themes, along with city views, I have started watching jeton sales on ebay for odd lots that don't attract much interest. The present token cost me $5 with shipping. It is rare, although not expensive (so it was a great deal, but not a steal).

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Hah! You're hooked now. :-)

 

Another nice jeton. Thanks for the history to go with it too.

 

Ian

 

A great collecting topic. Interesting tokens, good history (cgb's online catalogs have a wealth of information!), and not that expensive considering their relative scarcity. While individual pieces can be quite rare, the great variety of available tokens make it possible to build a respectable collection.

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  • 1 month later...

1737 Assembly of Lille

30mm Copper

Feuardent 7241

 

Obv: Bust of Louis XV right, LUD. XV. REX CHRISTIANISS. (Louis XV most Christian King), signed FM (François Marteau).

Rev: Abundance leaning against an altar with the shield of France, holding a rudder with the coat of arms of the States of Lille, SECURITAS. PROVINC. INSUL, and LES. ESTATS. DE. LILLE / 1737 in exergue (Security, Duty, Island, The Assembly of Lille). Image signed IB.

 

916560.jpg

 

Flanders and Lille passed in and out of French control during the wars of the late 1600s and early 1700s. The jeton pictured here is clearly during a period of French control. CGB's description of this style token translates the reverse inscription as noting the security of the states of Lille. I believe it is more complicated that that, but I'm not an expert in Latin. I translate Securitas as security. Provinc. as a shortened form of duty. Insul a shortened form of insula or island. Security, Duty makes sense, the Island part leaves me a unsure of my translation. Estates de Lille translates as states of Lille, but I believe it refers to the assembly of the three estates, the clergy, the nobility, and the third estate (the commoners represented by the wealthy upper bourgeoisie).

 

A more informed opinion on the proper translation is welcomed.

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Flanders and Lille passed in and out of French control during the wars of the late 1600s and early 1700s. The jeton pictured here is clearly during a period of French control. CGB's description of this style token translates the reverse inscription as noting the security of the states of Lille. I believe it is more complicated that that, but I'm not an expert in Latin. I translate Securitas as security. Provinc. as a shortened form of duty. Insul a shortened form of insula or island. Security, Duty makes sense, the Island part leaves me a unsure of my translation. Estates de Lille translates as states of Lille, but I believe it refers to the assembly of the three estates, the clergy, the nobility, and the third estate (the commoners represented by the wealthy upper bourgeoisie).

 

A more informed opinion on the proper translation is welcomed.

 

 

You will find that the earlier name for Lille was L'Isle (as in `the island'). This came about due to the town being built on dry land in the middle of a marsh in ancient times. The name stuck (like mud) as you can see, but although pronunciations remain the same, most people (even the french) have lost the connection. It's a bit like the phenomena of the modern Arms of Chartres which shows the knights heads (tetes chinonoise) looking upwards as opposed to facing to the right. :-)

 

Insul in the legend simply identifies `Lille', but in latin.

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1748 Chamber of Royal Accountants

30 mm Copper

Feuardent 2520

 

Obv: Bust of Louis XV right, LUD. XV. REX CHRISTIANISS. (Louis XV most Christian King), signed FM (François Marteau).

Rev: Statue of the god Terme in front of a formal garden. An aqueduct. lies in the distance The inscription, CUSTODIT NON CARPIT (Preserve Not Destroy) above and CHAMBRE AUX / DENIERS 1748 (Chamber of Royal Accountants) in exergue.

 

916589.jpg

 

Another Louis XV by Marteau, although the two busts differ slightly. I liked the reverse on this jeton (despite the stains). It shows a formal garden with the statue of Terme at the entrance. Terme was a Roman god who guaranteed the eternity of the empire. When an attempt was made to remove the statues of the gods on the Capitole in Rome to build the Temple of Jupiter, Terme refused to be moved and had to be left in place. Terme was portrayed with a human head placed on a pyramidal pedestal, always without arms and feet, so, one says, it could not change place. The Chambre aux Deniers maintained the accounts of the royal households.

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N.D. (1683) Treasurer of the Army

25mm Copper

Feuardent 919

 

Obv: Bust of Louis XIV right, signed L.G.L. (Lazare Gottlieb Laufer),LOVIS•LEGRAND ROY•DEFRANCE. (Louis the Great, King of France)

Rev: Pomegranate tree with fruit under a rayed sun, DAT. FRVCTVS. DAT. QUE. CORONAS (It gives fruits and garlands). In exergue, ORD. DES. GUERRES. PAPAREL. TRES (Ordinaire des Guerres, Paparel, Treasurer).

 

916600.jpg

 

These jetons were distributed to military accountants by Paparel, Treasurer of the Army. They were struck in large numbers in Nuremburg. Normally, the jetons were not allowed in France as they tended to serve as fiat currency, but somehow Paparel managed to arrange for their distribution. The pomegranate tree was a symbol of weath, fertility, and good fortune. Its fruit has ripened in the rays of the sun (undoubtedly an aleegorical reference to Louis, note the sun on his armor on the obverse).

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1651 Chamber of Burgundy

28 mm, Copper

Feuardent 9794

 

Obv: Arms of Burgundy in a wreath, * .FIDES. ORDINVM. BVRGVNDIÆ (The three orders of Burgundy will be faithful).

Rev: Burgundy lying on a shield with the cross of Saint-Andrew, rising and grasping the hand of the monarch, .TE. STANTE. RESVRGAM. (Stand Firm, Resurgent).

 

916601.jpg

 

Commemorating the defeat of the Burgundian forces aligned with the Fronde in opposition to the absolute power of the monarch. The oath of fidelity quotes the words of the first president and the bishop of Autun at the time of the opening of the Chamber in 1651.

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ca. 1330 Standing King Type

24 mm Bronze

 

Obverse: King standing in gothic arch, AVEM / ARIA.

Reverse: Quatralobed fleur-de-lissé pattern, A / V / E / M.

 

916602.jpg

 

An early jeton produced for use with a counting board. The jeton is a copy of the gold coins of Charles IV or Philippe VI (1322 - 1350). The jetons pictured in the preceeding posts derived from counting jetons and church or communion tokens (méreaux). One can see how the nature of the jeton changed when it was adapted to other uses and became a new art form.

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1667 Buildings of the King

27.5 mm Silver

Feuardent 2981 (silver, not copper as indicated in the catalog)

 

Obverse: Bust of Louis XIV right, LVD. XIIII. D. G. FR. ET. NAV. REX (Louis XIV, by the grace of God, king of France and of Navarre).

Reverse: The demolition of the first colonnade of the Louvre, PARIT. ORDO. DECOREM (order generates beauty) and AEDIF. REG. / 1667 (buildings of the king) in exergue.

 

916616.jpg

 

The planchet was cut from the end of a metal strip, but it doesn't impact the design. The jeton is otherwise EF, bordering on AU with nice toning. It commemorates work on the Louvre. Cardinal Mazarin, counsellor of Richelieu and prime minister under Anne of Austria during Louis's youth began work on improving the Louvre so that Louis would have a proper residence in Paris. Colbert was named superintendent of the king's buildings in 1664 and he continued work on the Louvre despite Louis's interest in Versailles. Louis had little interest in Paris after the rebellion of the Fronde. Louis abandoned the Louvre in 1672 and some parts of the reconstruction were left unfinished. The Louvre was transformed into a home for the arts and academies in 1692.

 

An illustration of the Louvre in 1660 before a fire of 1661 compared to 1677 is instructive. From the Louvre's website and collection of historic documents,

 

1660:

 

image_14060_v2_m56577569830537463.jpg

 

During the placement of the massive pediment stones in 1677:

 

image_14061_v2_m56577569830537464.jpg

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1639 Louis XIII Jeton

28 mm Copper

Feuardent 12223

 

Obverse: The king on horse back riding over his enemies on a battle field. Above, the Virgin and the Child on a cloud and a crown. PIETAS INVICTQVE DEXTRA (Piety and the invincible right hand.), in exergue, 1638.

Reverse: Vineyard worker pruning vines. SVPERFLVA DEMO (I remove what is excess), in exergue,1639.

 

916643.jpg

 

A generic token of Louis XIII. The obverse appears as the reverse of Feuardent 394 issued for the Ordinaire des Guerres. The reverse appears as the reverse of Feuardent 2568 issued for the Cour des Aides. Louis rides victorious over his enemies with a crown appearing in the heavens with the Virgin Mary and Child. It makes an interesting contrast with the reverse referring to removing or pruning excess.

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  • 1 month later...
1748 Mayor of Dijon

29.5 mm, Copper

Obv: Arms of Dijon in laural wreath. JEAN Pre. BURTEUR CONer AU PARLEMt VIC. MAY. DE DIJON 1748.

Rev: Arms crowned and supported by two natives, signature DV. (Engraver Duvivier) CERTÆ CONTINGERE METAM. (Resolved to acheive the goal.)

Feuardent 10104

 

915657.jpg

 

I have another token of Dijon mayor (holed ! :ninja: )

 

jetonmairededijon1716sw3.jpg

 

Copper, 30,5mm, medal strike, smooth edge.

Rarity level : R (Max. : RRRR).

 

Observe : LA VILLE - DE DIJON

Mr. BAVDINET VIC MAI/ 1716

 

Reverse : HIS ASTRIS CITO FLORET ET ODORAT

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1776 Provost of the Merchants of Paris

30 mm Silver

Feuardent 3748

 

917400.jpg

 

Obv: Oval arms of Jean-Baptist-François of Michodière, surmounted crown of marquis and supported by two greyhounds, the whole on a carved plinth. III. PREVt DE. Mre J. B. FR. DE. LA. MICHODIERE., MDCCLXXVI in exergue.

Rev: Arms of Paris, VILLE DE PARIS

 

Jean-Baptist François was born on September 2, 1720, the son of Jean-Baptist of Michodière and of Louise-Elisabeth Rochereau d' Hauteville. He spent his career in civil service. He advised of the king on the Large Council at 19, Master of the ordinary requests at 25, and president of the Large Council at 30. He becomes intendant of Riom in 1753, Lyon in 1757 and until 1762, Intendant of Rouen the same year, adviser of State in 1768, and Provost of the merchants of Paris 1772 to 1777. He died in 1797.

 

The jeton is uncirculated with beautiful toning, although very different on obverse and reverse. I suspect it spent many years sitting is a classic coin cabinet.

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  • 5 months later...

1749 Academy of Science and Letters

30 mm, Silver

Feuardent 10748 variety

 

923752.jpg

 

Its been awhile since I posted jetons. I haven't stopped acquiring them, I just have been working on other parts of my collection. I recently bought two jetons from Lyon in a Jean Elsen auction. They have inspired me to start bringing this thread up to date.

 

The jeton pictured here features the Altar of Lugdunum on the obverse. The altar was constructed for Augustus (example from a coin of Tiberius struck by Augustus):

 

907969.jpg

 

The jeton is dated 1700 on the obverse, but it was designed by local Lyon artist, Balthasar Gentot, and first struck in 1735. It commemorates the rebirth of the Athenaeum in 1700. The jetons were distributed in a purse with 120 tokens, two purses in 1737, 300 tokens in 1739, and then 500 tokens in 1741. In 1749, new jeton dies were prepared by Duvivier. His signature appears on the reverse and the date, 1749, is buried in the turf between the two figures.

 

The two allegorical figures on the reverse represent the Rhone and the Saone releasing their waters from their urns. Lyon sits at the juncture of the two rivers.

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