Moneta Gallery Coin Museum



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MonneronGld
French Revolution - Gilded 5 Sols

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Moneta



Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 1,979
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This gilt (gold covered) Monneron token 5 Sols was minted in Birmingham England. Late in 1791 Matthew Boulton, utilizing his newly invented steam driven coin press, was commissioned by the Monneron Brothers of Paris France to produce 1, 2 and 5 Sols pieces in great quantity at his Soho Mint near Birmingham. According to various sources, the total weight of tokens produced was in excess of 70 tons. These 'monnaies de nécessité' were to be used to remedy the lack of specie (small change) which plagued France during the early revolutionary years. The technical and aesthetic quality of the tokens was far superior to the bronze coins i France at the time.
Obverse - Soldiers swearing allegiance to personification of 'France', who holds a copy of the Constitution. Legend: "VIVRE LIBRES OU MOURIER." ("Live Free or Die"). In exergue: "14 JUILLET 1790"
Above the flags: "PACTE FEDERATIF"
Reverse: "MEDAILLE DE CONFIANCE DE CINQ-SOLS REMBOURSABLE EN ASSIGNATS DE 50 L. ET AU DESSUS." In exergue: "L'AN IV DE LA LIBERTE" Legend: "MONNERON FRERES NEGOCIANS A PARIS 1792." Edge reads: "DEPARTEMENS DE PARIS . RHONE ET LOIRE . DU GARD . &c".

This coin is Mazard No. 146. There are several other types, some much rarer, including types struck in silver. The 1791 issues were quickly supplanted by the 1792 strikes. Only 36 gilt 5 Sols, and 24 silver examples of 1791 were made. These were made for sale and for presentation purposes, often to advertise the extreme skill available at Soho. Mazard lists the gilt 5 Sols of 1791 at Rarity 2 (Mazard 144) and the silver as Rarity 3. I do not a have a figure for the number of gilt coins struck for the more common 1792 issue but Mazard lists it at Rarity 1. No silver ones were produced for 1792 (except for the Hercules issues). KM's SCWC lists the silver issue but not the gilt ones for 1791 or 1792.



The date L'AN IV de la Liberté refers to the Revolutionary French Constitutional Calendar and translates as 1792. The scene on the obverse shows the Oath of the Federation, the first anniversary of which was celebrated by the Festival of the Federation on 14 July 1790. The Festival, which included a mass held by the great French statesman Talleyrand (1754-1838), then the Bishop of Autun, also commemorated the taking of the Bastille and the bond uniting the nation, the king, and the people.



In March 1792, the Monneron Brothers became bankrupt and one brother, Pierre, abandoned the business. Under the other brother, Augustin, the business recovered, but a law inacted 3rd May 1792 forbade the production of privately issued coinage. In September, a further decree also forbade the marketing of these 'Medailles de Confiance'. This emergency coinage only remained in circulation until the end of 1793. These are listed in KM under France Token issues of MONNAIES DE CONFIANCE (1791-92).



Here is the link to the BEST article on Matthew Boulton, the Industrialization of Coinage, and the Monneron Brother's wonderful token coinage during the French Revolution:
Boulton and the Monnerons - Margolis: [ link ]
Another monograph, very worth reading, is about the history of the Soho mint in Birmingham and the partnership of M. Boulton and James Watt.
[ link ]
· Date: February 4, 2011 · Views: 2,096 · Filesize: 127.6kb · Dimensions: 880 x 449 ·
Keywords: France French Revolution sols
Denomination: 5 Sols
Reference #: Mazard #146 (gilded)
Date/Mintmark: 1792
Condition: AU 58; slabbed
Metal: gilded bronze
Additional Categories: France

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