(sold for $11.0)


1658, Royal France, Louis XIV. Silver 1/12 Ecu (10 Sols) Coin. Montpellier!

Mint Year: 1658 Mint Place: Montpellier (N) Denomination: 1/12 Ecu (10 Sols) References: KM-166.13 ($150 in VF!). R! Condition: Struck with corroded dies, small scratches, otherwise VF! Diameter: 21mm Weight: 2.28gm Material: Silver

Obverse: Laureated and draped young bust of of the Sun King ("le Roi Soleil") - Louis XIV right. Legend: LVD . XIIII . D . G . (privy mark) . FR . ET . NAV . REX . Reverse: Crowned royal shield with French arms (three lis symbols). Mint initial (N) below, privy mark (*) above. Legend: SIT . NOMEN . DOMINI . (N) . BENEDICTVM . I658 . (privy mark) .

Louis XIV (5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715) ruled as King of France and of   Navarre. He ascended the throne a few months before his fifth birthday,   but did not assume actual personal control of the government until the   death of his prime minister (Premier ministre), the Italian   Jules Cardinal Mazarin, in 1661. Louis remained on the throne until his   death in September 1715, four days before his seventy-seventh birthday.   His reign lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days, the   longest documented for any European monarch to date.

Louis XIV is popularly known as the Sun King (French: le Roi Soleil).   Louis believed in the Divine Right of Kings, a theory which received   one of its most classic expressions in "On the Duties of Kings", a   sermon preached by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet in Louis' presence in 1662.   (Louis was so impressed with Bossuet that in 1670, he appointed Bossuet   as tutor to Louis' son and heir.)

For much of Louis's reign, France stood as the   leading power in Europe, engaging in three major wars—the Franco-Dutch   War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish   Succession—and two minor conflicts—the War of Devolution, and the War of   the Reunions. Men who featured prominently in the political and   military life of France during this period include Mazarin, Nicolas   Fouquet, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Michel Le Tellier, Le Tellier's son   Louvois, le Grand Condé, Turenne, Vauban, Villars and   Tourville. French culture likewise flourished during this era, producing   a number of figures of great renown, including Molière, Racine,   Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Le Brun, Rigaud, Louis Le Vau, Jules   Hardouin Mansart, Claude Perrault and Le Nôtre.

Louis XIV continued the work of his predecessors to   create a centralized state governed from the capital in order to sweep   away the remnants of feudalism which had persisted in parts of France.   He succeeded in breaking the power of the provincial nobility, much of   which had risen in revolt during his minority, and forced many leading   nobles to live with him in his lavish Palace of Versailles.   Consequently, he has long been considered the archetypal absolute   monarch of early modern Europe. Louis is reported to have said on his   death bed: "Je m'en vais, mais l'État demeurera toujours." ("I depart, but the State shall always remain").

A member of the House of France was placed on the   throne of Spain by Louis XIV, effectively ending the centuries-old   threat and menace that had arisen from that quarter of Europe since the   days of Charles V. The House of Bourbon retained the crown of Spain for   the remainder of the eighteenth century, but experienced overthrow and   restoration several times after 1808. Nonetheless, to this day, the   Spanish monarch is descended from Louis XIV.

Louis' numerous wars effectively bankrupted the State   (though it must also be said that France was able to recover in a   matter of years), forcing him to incur large State debts from various financiers and to levy higher taxes on the peasants as the nobility and clergy had   exemption from paying these taxes and contributing to public funds.   Yet, it must be emphasized that it was the State and not the country   which was impoverished. The wealth and prosperity of France, as a whole,   could be noted in the writings of the social and political thinker and   commentator Montesquieu in his satirical epistolary novel, Lettres Persanes.   While the work mocks and ridicules French political, cultural and   social life, it also portrays and describes the wealth, elegance and   opulence of France between the end of the War of the Spanish Succession   and Louis XIV's death

On the whole, nevertheless, Louis XIV strengthened   the power of the Crown relative to the traditional feudal elites,   marking the beginning of the era of the modern State, and placed France   in the predominant and preeminent position in Europe, giving her ten new   provinces and an overseas empire, as well as cultural and linguistic   influence all over Europe. Even with several great European alliances   opposing him, he continued to triumph and to increase French territory,   power and influence. As a result of these military victories as well as   cultural accomplishments, Europe would admire France, her power,   culture, exports, values and way-of-life. The French language would   become the lingua franca for the entire European elite as   faraway as Romanov Russia; various German princelings would seek to copy   his mode of life to their great expense. Europe of the Enlightenment   would look to Louis XIV's reign as an example, studying his strategic   use of power, emulating his elegance, and admiring his successes.

Saint-Simon, who felt slighted by Louis XIV, offered the following assessment

"There was nothing he liked so much   as flattery, or, to put it more plainly, adulation; the coarser and   clumsier it was, the more he relished it ... His vanity, which was   perpetually nourished–for even preachers used to praise him to his face   from the pulpit–was the cause of the aggrandisement of his Ministers".

However, even the German philosopher Leibniz, who was   a Protestant and had no cause for flattery, could call him "one of the   greatest kings that ever was"; and Napoleon, hardly a friend of the   Bourbons, would describe Louis XIV as "the only King of France worthy of   the name" and "a great king." Voltaire, the apostle of the   Enlightenment, compared him to Augustus and called his reign an   "eternally memorable age", dubbing the Age of Louis XIV "le Grand Siècle"   (the "Great Century"). He is also regarded as one of the greatest   rulers in the 17th century alongside with Emperor Kangxi of the Qing   Empire and Peter I of Tzarist Russia.

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This coin has been sold for   $11.0

Notes: https://www.ebay.com/itm/153628181460 2019-09-09

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