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The Police at Le Chatelet, Paris


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There's a thread somewhere which has some jetons issued for the police at Le Chatelet, but couldn't find it otherwise I would have added this one to it.

 

This jeton was issued in 1583 during the reign of Henri III for the police at Le Chatelet (or le Chastellet as it was known as at that time) and is the earliest jeton that i'm aware of that was issued specifically for that particular service.

 

Obverse, french shield. Reverse depicts Equity standing.

 

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  • 4 months later...

A couple more `Chatelet' acquisitions worth a quick mention of their existence.

 

The first is a jeton issue under Louis XV for the Chief of Police at le Chatelet. Although it bears the bust of Louis XVI, this jeton was issued before the death of his father. it is also dated 1724, on the reverse. This reverse was common to all issues for the Chief of Police since that date.

 

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More interestingly from my viewpoint is the bust of Louis XVI. The obverse is signed `Trebucher', an engraver I hadn't come across before seeing this jeton. I was doubly surprised when the next jeton came my way (by the same engraver), dated 1761 this time which again puts it during the reign of Louis XV, and relating once again to `Le Chatelet''

 

This was issued for the `Huissiers a Cheval au Chatelet'. They were more or less an elite band of `bailiffs' responsible for enforcing the more significant judgements made at the law courts at Le Chatelet. it appears they needed their horses to get out and about in the countryside in pursuit of their duties .........and in all probability to make rapid exit from some of the people they had to serve judgements on.

 

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The only medalist with that namel in Forrers is Charles Francois Trebuchet(1751-1817). Born and worked in France till the second invasion, then settled and worked in Brussels. One jeton with the arms of France and signature Trebuchet Brux is suspected as a modern fabrication by Brichaut( an official at the Brussels Mint, 1866-1893) dies probably cut by Veyrat, as is a pattern 5 Franc piece of Louis XVIII 1815 and a number of other "pieces de fantaisie'.

 

Not that I am suggesting yours are 'pieces de fantasies' Ian, but seeing the head of an adult Louis XVI it would seem that the Trebuchet could be the same medalist, though he was born after the death of Louis XV. So perhaps Trebuchet engraved the dies for the obverse and they were paired with older reverse dies, hence the early dates one of which actually predates Trebuchet's birth.

 

I assume one of Trebuchet's ancestors operated, or even built, trebuchets.

 

Here is a link to Forrer's Biographical etc (please click on 'blue grapic' link)what is listed as vol 1 is in fact vol 2, vol 2 is vol 3 the same for all vols. Unfortunately there is no volume 1 on site, I informed the university months ago but no action on the errors or missing volume (I was lucky enough to get an ex-library copy of vol 1 and downloaded copies of all the rest. Still a handy online reference.

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English seems to have taken the word "trebuchet" from French, but it never meant "catapult" in that language; it designates a small balance scale for weighing gold or chemicals. The word must have made its way into English by analogy of function. The French trébucher, the origin of trébuchet, means to stumble over something. French terms for "catapult" are catapulte, baliste (from the same roots that give us "ballistic") or onagre ("donkey," as the machine "kicks" like a donkey).

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The only medalist with that namel in Forrers is Charles Francois Trebuchet(1751-1817).

 

:ninja: Many thanks indeed for this information. It's very helpful indeed.

 

It has reminded me that there was an exercise at one point by the French Mint (La Medaille that is) to re-engrave many of the worn and damaged dies they held for these jetons lest they be lost in their entirety to posterity. This exercise took place during the reign of Louis XVI and called upon the services of many a budding engraver. Given the timelines involved it would seem that CF Trebucher must have been involved in this rather extensive exercise. There is no other explanation I can think of for his name being on these pieces......unless there was another Trebucher (which I very much doubt). I have a reference document re this exercise somewhere. Will go hunt for it and see if he has a mention.

 

Mitchiner mentions an issue during the reign of Louis XVI for the Liet. de Robe Courte (if I recall correctly) but gives scant information re the engraver.

 

Ian

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The obverse does appear in Feuardent (Rois et Reines de France, #373), but he leaves it undated.

 

It does indeed Bill. I gave up when I couldn't find it listed where i expected . The notes reference jeton no. 4324 (in vol 1) Eglises de Paris series , 'Saint-Roch'....... with a date of 1744 :ninja:

 

Trebuchet's piece is likely to be contemporaneous with that of no. 4323 by Du Vivier....I would think that pitches the likely date of striking somewhere between 1775 - 1785.

 

Ian

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Forrer also mentions that three of his works, executed in France have been described at various times. One of which is a jeton of the States of Cambri, with the bust of Louis XVI. (C. Robert. Numismatique de Cambri, Pl. L # 7) might be the same bust used on your jetons.

 

The jetons I know of so far by Trebuchet are the two I have, the one cited in Feuardent (Saint-Roch, 1744) the one you mention for Cambrai......and now I have spotted a couple in CGB's `Jetons XXII', specifically no 598 an undated jeton they cite as having been struck 1775 and no 559 which is identical to my one dated 1724. However, although CGB cite references as being feuardent 4869 and feuardent 3851 respectively, neither of these references actually match with Feuardent. All Trebuchet examples so far sport the feuardent reference bust no. 373.

 

Reminds me of the old addage, `when at first you shake the bottle, none will come....and then a lot'll' :ninja:

 

Ian

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