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I just recived a few relatively modern silver jetons (1800's) that were struck for the Commisaires de Commerce of La Rochelle (La Rochelle Chambre de Commerce)and thought i'd share these along with earlier examples of the jetons de presence for this Chambre.

 

The first bears a youthful bust of Louis XV, and although not dated, it was struck 1725

 

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The second and third are both examples dated 1754, different busts of Louis XV, but the reverse legends have now changed from Favente Ditabo to Ditat et Ornat

 

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The fourth and fifth are dated 1774 and show different busts and obverse legends for Louis XVI

 

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The sixth is a scarcer modern type with Philippe I obverse and harbour view reverse. The legend in the exergue has changed to `Charente Inferieure'. Although undated, this example was struck in 1842

 

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The seventh has Louis Napoleon obverse and was struck circa 1856

 

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The final example struck circa 1880 simply states `jeton de presence' obverse, and the same harbour scene reverse

 

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Very nice jetons. What would they have been used for?

 

Originally these would have been struck on behalf of the King and issued in a purse containing whatever number agreed as an annual honorarium (payment) to the person(s) occupying the post. In other words they were an exchange of `wealth'. I shy from saying `money' as there was no intention that they exchanged hands in commerce, although being silver, they both could and did change hands quite frequently. Some have seen extensive circulation. They approximate 1/3rd of an Ecu, that being the silver coinage in circulation at the time.

 

Numerically speaking, in comparison to `coins' even the most extensively struck jeton could be considered to be `rare' yet they are readily available because few people outside of France actually collect them (yet). I have been building my collection over the past few years while they are still available within my humble budgets. I've even managed to find some extremely rare ones on occasion. I purchased a 1750 example of a jeton struck for the Bordeaux Chambre de Commerce last week for 18 euro. You can see it on omni coin. It's not particularly rare in jeton terms, but it is silver , 261 years old, full of historical context, in VF+ condition, and had a very low mintage (relatively speaking)to start with.

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Ian, you're doing the collecting I've always wanted to be able to do. Moreover, you seem to be doing it better than I might ever have. Your breadth of knowledge of French jetons is surely matched by few jeton collectors worldwide. it's a real pleasure to see your ongoing posts in here.

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Ian, you're doing the collecting I've always wanted to be able to do. Moreover, you seem to be doing it better than I might ever have. Your breadth of knowledge of French jetons is surely matched by few jeton collectors worldwide. it's a real pleasure to see your ongoing posts in here.

 

Well said and my sentiments exactly.

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