Third Republic, 1899

KM 846; Friedberg 597, PCGS graded PR-65

Beginning in 1898, the Paris mint started to step back from the revolutionary types that had traditionally characterized the coinages of the French Republic(s) and replaced them with what might be conceived as more unifying nationalist iconography. Whereas 10- and 20-franc gold coins struck earlier in the Third Republic still recycled the Genius and Ceres types of the more radical First and Second Republics, the new issues at the end of the nineteenth century feature a personification of the French Republic on the obverse and a rooster on the reverse. The latter was a punning emblem referring to France. The Latin word for rooster (gallus) is similar to Gallia, the Latin name for the Celtic lands that later became France.

Laureate head of the Republic right. Reverse: Rooster left, dividing denomination; date in exergue.

Ex Stack’s (14 January 2008), 2551