Lot 381

Louis XIII (1610-1643). Double golden louis to the Templar cross 1640 A, Paris.
Av. Tête laurée on the right. Rv. Cross formed of eight L's leaning against each other and crowned.
Fr. 409a, Dup. 1303.

PCGS Genuine AU details - Ex Jewelry. Spectacular and extremely rare type. Tracede monture, TTB à Superbe

In 1640, the French monetary system will be deeply modified. It is now based on a heavy silver coin, the Écu Blanc, and a gold coin with perfect characteristics, the Louis. These two currencies will remain the basis of the national monetary system until the French Revolution. In 1640, not only Louis coins were minted, but also divisionaries and multiples. Demi-Louis and Doubles Louis also came into being. Even multiples of 4, 6, 8, 10, 16 and 20 Louis were made. These spectacular gold coins (the 20 Louis weighs 135.03g - the heaviest French coin ever produced) were not struck afterwards. They have a lot in common. Their author first of all, the famous Jean Warin, Engraver General of Coins from 1646 to 1672, to whom we owe the superb medal commemorating the Franco-Swiss treaty of 1663 proposed below (n° 381). Their production technique then, since they should all be made at the mill, as Warin advocated. However, if we look at our Double Louis dit à la croix des Templiers, we notice traces of treflage in the right field as well as the irregularity of the flank. These characteristics are those of a coin struck with a hammer and not with a pendulum. Moreover, it was made at the former Monnaie de Paris from October 1640 to January 1641 by Louis de La Croix and Jean Darmand Lorfelin. The rivalry between the Engravers General explains this difference. As the supporters of the old techniques did everything to prevent the development of the new ones, both types of production were engaged. In view of the result, the coins proposed by Warin naturally imposed themselves. The Double Louis à la croix des Templiers is therefore a coin as rare as it is singular. Obsolete and unsuited to its time, it was never really issued.