This Numiscorner.com blog article discusses a rare French silver écu that never entered circulation, and the subsequent écus designed by envraver Jean-Pierre Droz. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for more.
In the series of great reforms which he had in mind, the minister envisioned a project for a silver écu worth 6 livres that he hoped to use to make the currency circulate.
It was thus with this aim that he had trials produced by the Monnaie de Paris over the course of 1786.
Unfortunately, he would leave office before the project reached completion, and the écu de Calonne never entered circulation.
Jean-Pierre Droz, a young Swiss engraver, arrived in Paris at the tender age of just 18. He began to make a name for himself as a medallist in 1783 and subsequently offered his services to the Monnaie de Paris.
Consequently, at the age of 37, he found himself in charge of producing the first examples of the écu de Calonne. And, undeniably, the engraving of these trials demonstrates his extraordinary talent.
Indeed, in addition to its historical dimension, the écu de Calonne is also remarkable as far as its engraving is concerned.
The profile of Louis XVI, in the form of a laurel bust (a rare version without the laurels also exists), is of an unequaled finesse and quite simply sumptuous.
The reverse of the majority of the trials features two Ls elegantly facing each other beneath a crown and framing three fleur-de-lis.
The abandoned écu made such an impact that it was restruck in the 19th century during the Restoration.
To read the complete article, see:
The Écu de Calonne
Wayne Homren, Editor
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