French history

Gold coins found in remote French manor sold for over €1 million at auction

The coins could have been the savings of a rich trader or landowner.
The coins could have been the savings of a rich trader or landowner. © Ivorie/Deloys

239 rare gold coins dug out of the walls of a mansion near Quimper in western Brittany went under the hammer for more than 1 million euros on Wednesday. 

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Stonemasons discovered the 239 pieces of gold, minted before the French Revolution, in a metal box when they began renovating a property near Quimper in 2019, auctioneers Ivoire/Deloys said.

The family kept four coins as souvenirs and put the rest up for auction in the western town of Angers, with an estimated value of between 250,000 and 300,000 euros.

Before the sale, 19 of the coins had been pre-empted by the Musée de la Monnaie in Paris.

Bidding opened at 8,000 euros for a very rare double Louis d’Or, depicting Louis XIV and dating back to 1646. It went for 46,000 euros, the same price as a Louis d’Or from Paris dated 1640 and stamped with the Templar’s Cross.

“Bids were flying from everywhere – in the room, on internet and on the telephone,” said auctioneer Florian D’Oysonville.

This rare gold coin, featuring Louis XIV as a child, was valued at €15,000 but sold for €46,000 at auction
This rare gold coin, featuring Louis XIV as a child, was valued at €15,000 but sold for €46,000 at auction © Deloys

The 2019 find was only reported now after the owners tasked the auction house with the sale.

The proceeds were to be shared between the owners and the three craftsmen who found the gold.

D’Oysonville said the treasure, hidden in a metal box, "was thought to be savings, probably from a rich merchant or landowner".

(with newswires)

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