Louis XV, 1772-A

KM 556.1; Friedberg 467, NGC graded MS63

A new and final Louis XV portrait type, the so-called vielle tete (“old head”) replaced the portrait au bandeau in 1771. The new type depicts the head of the king wearing a laurel wreath to present him as a sort of updated French version of an ancient Roman Emperor. It is unclear whether this change in headgear should be seen as growing out of the classicizing tendency of the preceding au bandeau type or as an attempt to make Louis XV’s portrait conform (i.e. compete) more closely to the fashion of contemporary English and European royal portraiture.

Reims. LUD · XV · D · G · FR · ET NAV · REX ·, laureate and draped bust of Louis XV left. Reverse: CHRS · REGN · VINC · IMPER + 1772, crowned arms of France and Navarre.

Ex Künker (8 March 2010), 3626