Coins of the French Regime are some of the most important pieces of history in Canadian numismatics and Geoffrey Bell Auctions Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of the largest specialized collection of coinage for the French Colonies of North America ever to appear at auction, in conjunction with the Toronto Coin Expo, May 2 and 3, 2019. Our sale is set to feature nearly 500 individual coins, covering the entire range of French coinage struck for or used in colonial North America. This catalogue will become a reference work for this under-appreciated series, and the sale will be of interest to collectors in Canada, France, the United States, and the Caribbean Islands.
The French Regime covers around 1600 to 1760. Canada didn’t begin with Confederation and its numismatic history wasn’t born with those iconic 1858 issues. In fact, specific coins weren’t struck for our nation until the 1850s, or after 1820 with some tokens sanctioned by provincial governments, so the foreign coins that circulated really should be featured more prominently in the collections of those interested in Canadian money.
Highlights in this sale are extensive:
- The extremely rare 1641 Quinzain, and the1658 Sizain and Douzain pattern issues – struck in silver as piedforts.
- Over 125 different fleur-de-lys counterstamps struck on billon coinage in 1640 – the largest offering ever at auction, including types not known to Robert A. Vlack as well as a wide variety of different host coins, some extremely rare.
- Over 100 of the 1692-1705 “Recoined Sols,” also the largest offering ever, by date and mintmark, including many issues not previously known to exist.
- Over 200 of the Sous Marques and Half Sous Marques, including extremely rare varieties and mints, as well as some unknown to Vlack.
- An offering of John Law copper coinage, over 70 varieties including unlisted overdates.
- An extremely rare John Law gold issue.
- Over 40 West Indes issues, including unlisted and extremely rare varieties.
- An unlisted 1789 Cayenne 2 Sous struck in piedfort, ex Brand and Norweb collections.
- An offering of overlooked issues that were important to early Canada, such as the 16 Sols de Strasbourg (including the unverified 1715), the copper D’Ardennes coinage, and silver coinage from the treasure ship Le Chameau.
As appreciation for French Regime coinage expands and the importance of these pieces is even more widely recognized, demand can only follow suit. The collection being offered in our Toronto Coin Expo 2019 Spring Sale will become the standard for this historic numismatic genre. Expect bidding to be spirited. Contact Geoffrey Bell Auctions Ltd. to reserve a catalogue and mark May 2nd and 3rd, 2019 in your calendar.