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Issue of St. Eligius, Patron Saint of Goldsmiths and Coin Collectors

Triton XXI, Lot: 929. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $19000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MEROVINGIANS, Paris. temp. Clovis II. King of Neustria and Burgundy, 639-657. AV Tremissis (13mm, 1.02 g, 8h). Eligius, moneyer. PARI(horizontal and retrograde S) I [...], diademed and draped bust right / [...]LODOVI[...], cross ancrée; cross-tipped staff above and below; EL ICI in retrograde across field below crossbar. Cf. NM 27 (for type); Belfort 3354 var. (moneyer name not inverted); cf. Prou 688 (same); MEC 1, –. Good VF, toned. Very rare.

Ex Rauch 102 (7 November 2016), lot 1338 (hammer €15,000); Numismatica Genevensis SA VI (30 November 2010), lot 414 (hammer 24,000 CHF) .

St. Eligius (circa 588-1 December 660), who is the patron saint, among other things, of goldsmiths and coin collectors, was a counselor to several Merovingian kings. Born into an influential Gallo-Roman family, he was apprenticed to a goldsmith. Later he was employed by the royal treasurer of the Kingdom of Neustria, there being commissioned by the king, Clotaire II, to fashion a golden throne. Because of Eligius’ scrupulous honesty, Clothaire, as King of the Franks, appointed him master of the mint at Marseilles. During this same time, Eligius also did goldwork in Paris, increasing his reputation not only for his skill, but also his honesty, Following Clothaire’s death, his son and successor,Dagobert I, appointed Eligius as a chief counselor. Following Dagobert’s death in 639 and the regency of his successor, Clovis II, who was then only a child of five, Eligius continued to serve in the government of the new king’s mother, Nanthild. However, Eligius’ reputation got him appointed bishop of Noyon-Tournai in 642. This diocese also included Ghent and Kortrijk in Flanders. Since most of the inhabitants were pagans, Eligius spent his remaining years in the area, undertaking their conversion, as well as that of the Frisians and Suevi. He died in 660.