Louis XIII, 1640-A

Duplessy 1294; KM 111; Friedberg 406, PCGS graded MS-62

Although Louis XIII had primarily struck the gold ecu, in the last years of his reign, beginning in 1640 his mints began to produce the louis d’or denomination. This took its cues from the earlier henri d’or of Henri II in its use of a royal portrait on the obverse and a reverse cross composed of the initial letter of the king’s name. Whereas each arm of the cross on the henri d’or was formed by an H, on the new louis d’or it was formed by two letters L placed back-to-back. The portrait head sports a laurel wreath to cast the absolute king as a sort of latter day Roman Emperor. This portrait style of the absolute king lies behind the fashion of laureate portraits that becomes commonplace on English and European royal coins in the later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Probably a 19th century restrike. Paris. LVD · XIII · D · G · FR · ET · NAV · REX, laureate head of Louis XIII right; date below. Reverse: · CHRISTVS · REGNAT · VINCIT · ET · IMPERAT, cruciform monogram composed of 8 L’s, with crowns at ends and lis in each quarter.

Ex Heritage (8 January 2018), 32199; Larry Adams Collection (Triton XIX, 4 January 2016), 2329; Schweizerischer Bankverein 29 (28 January 1992), 827