Dauphin Island, (Isle Dauphin) 1707
As we know from our history books and the description of the previous (Isle Du Massacre) coin, the French colonized the middle part of North America in the name of King Louis XIV, calling it Nouvelle France, or just “La Louisianne” (Louisiana). The colony at Dauphin Island was originally named “Isle Du Massacre” (Massacre Island). But the name seemed somehow ominous and it was a tough-sell to get colonists to agree to move there! so… in 1707, the French renamed it Isle Dauphin” (sometimes spelled “Dauphine”) in honor of the heir to the French throne: the “Dauphin.” (Though there are some who say that it was all an inside joke and that the island was really re-named after the bottlenosed dolphins that frequent the nearby waters. In any case the notoriously vain King Louis XIV completely believed that it was named in honor of his son by his adoring subjects.) During this period the island was capitol of the entire Louisiana Territory (La Louisianne), which was inexactly defined, but thought to equal almost two thirds of the present contiguous United States!
We issue this comemmorative colonial piece to celebrate the history of the island in a coin that could conceivably have existed. The obverse shows the haughty King Louis XIV at his jowly best… you can almost hear him shout “Letat, cest moi!” (translation: “I AM the state!”) as advisers and sycophants bow and scurry at his feet! The inscriptions declare him king of France and her colonies. The reverse bears the royal crown above, and a shield bearing a bearded dolphin fish (in the period artistic style… obviously NOT anatomically correct per modern knowledge) with the inscription “Isle Dauphin” and the date 1707.
Here is a site with some paintings of Louis XIV, and another with a description of his character and reign.
In our unabashedly fictionalized version of events, we suggest that the crown authorized the minting of this colonial coin to replace the earlier and unpopular “Isle Du Massacre” coin. A chest of the coins was shipped to Dauphin Island from the mint in Paris where they were made, but never arrived at their destination. Pirates plundered the vessel of everything of value, and the coins were lost to history. Until… archaeological diggings on the Isle of Hispanola uncovered a chest apparently containing the entire hoard!
This largish silver coin denominated one quarter Ecu, weighs about 6 grammes of 90% silver, is about 26 mm in diameter, and is done in the classic style of 17th century French coinage. The condition of the is EF+ (extremely fine plus) with little wear and a delicate toning. This piece is brought to you by Shire Post, specializing in crafting strange and unusual artifacts from all over the world for the purpose of making history come alive