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The Celtic coins of the Parisii, centred on present-day Paris - to which city they gave their name - are considered amongst the most aesthetically appealing of the whole series. There was a nice example in this sale. The estimate was a prudent €4500-5500. It realised €7100 (£4680). Others have realised more but this one had a slightly ragged edge, but rarity counts.

Any student of the Hundred Years War will tell you not to express surprise that a gold noble of Edward III should turn up in a French sale. There was a particularly fine example of this comparatively common coin here and there is usually at least one in any comprehensive and appropriate sale. They were struck at two mints, London and Calais. The latter mint is slightly scarcer and is indicated by having a pennant on the ship. This one had a splendidly full flan (rare) and was estimated (€1200-1500). In the event it made a well-deserved €1600 (£1055).

What was severely underestimated was a bronze medal of Louis XII (1498-1515). The catalogue rightly indicated its similarity to an enseign (hatbadge) but left it at that, suggesting an estimate of €250-350. Somebody must have known some of the full story. Indeed, it is an enseign. The original was probably in gold and is not now known, perhaps melted down ages ago, but not before some bronze casts had been made of it, presumably for issue to the monarch's followers.

It seems that there are three examples known. Yvonne Hackenbroch's book Enseigns (Florence, 1996), reviewed in the Antiques Trade Gazette on September 28, 1996 illustrates a similar gilt bronze example which graces the Musée d'Ecouen.

Nicholas Rondot, who wrote a standard work on French medals (1904), illustrates another but does not give its location. It is not this example. Maybe there are one or two more lurking out there; if so, there must be very few. It required a bid of €1200 (£790) to secure it and presumably there must have been an underbidder.

It all goes to show that even in the most prestigious sales there is something for the alert and this is really not a lot of money for such an interesting item.