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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 75, Lot: 1242. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 
Sold For $515. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

FRANCE, Premier Empire. Antwerpen. Napoleon I. Emperor, 1804-1814. CU 5 Centimes (14.42 g, 6h). Dated 1814. Large N within laurel wreath / 5 / CENT in two lines. Gadoury 129; Mailliet 3.2; KM 2.2. EF, some light adjustment marks, underlying mint red.

In early 1814, the War of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon was coming to an end. The coalition, composed of Austria, Russia, Prussia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and several German states, had pushed Napoleon from their territories. Afterward, they entered France, eventually taking Paris and forcing Napoleon to surrender. This coin was struck by General Lazare Carnot, who was responsible for the city of Antwerp, an important naval base for Napoleon in the Low Countries. As the coalition entered Belgium in an attempt to liberate it from French rule, they besieged Antwerp. General Carnot, who produced this siege coinage from the cannon of Antwerp’s fortress, tenaciously held on, refusing to surrender despite French losses elsewhere. Only after Napoleon capitulated – and at the urging of the Count of Artois, later King Charles X – did Carnot surrender the city.