The gold coins found concealed in a French manor house, to be offered at Ivoire Angers/Deloys in Angers on September 29. Image credit: Ivoire Angers.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

A cache of 17th century French gold coins discovered during the renovation of a manor house in the Bigouden area of Brittany is to be offered for sale by Ivoire Angers/Deloys in Angers on September 29.

The coins were uncovered when a couple decided to restore the house they had purchased in Plozevet in 2012. The three stonemasons they engaged to do the work first found a metal box filled with gold coins inside a wall and then a few days later found a purse with more gold coins above a beam.

There were 239 coins in total minted during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV.

The Service Régional d’Archéologie Préventive was responsible for researching the coins following the discovery. It was established that the earliest part of the house dated back to the 13th century and would have belonged to a family of traders or farmers with the identity of the last known inhabitants traced back to the 18th century.

The region where the manor is situated was particularly prosperous in the 17th century thanks to the transport of Bordeaux wines to England and cereals to Northern Europe.

All the coins have been authenticated, 23 of them issued under Louis XIII and 216 under Louis XIV.

The hoard, named the Plozevet treasure, is said to be the result of savings since the coins found come from 19 different cities (until the 1970s currency was minted in many different places throughout France).

The entire treasure is expected to realise between €250,000-300,000 with the proceeds to be divided in two: one half for the three tradesmen who discovered them and the other half for the owners of the property.

The oldest coin dates from 1638 and the most recent from 1692. Among them are several rare coins including this Louis XIV double Louis d’or à la meche longue from 1646 issued by the atelier de Dijon, which is reckoned to be one of only 120 examples that are known. It has an estimate of €10,000-15,000.