France/USA, Regiment de la Calotte/John Law’s Mississippi Bubble, AE medal, ND but c. 1720 (44mm.) by Charles Roettiers at paris. Folly seated r. on throne set upon clouds, holding sceptre surmounted by Jester’s head, RIDERE REGNARE EST laughing is ruling. Rev. Coat-of-arms of the society : three phases of the moon above sceptre, surmounted by Jester’s head, set on field of bees; above, facing helmet decorated with bells and surmounted by a cat l.; either side dressed ape supporters, each with heads turned outward and holding cornucopias, LUNA DUCE AUSPICE MOMO, under the guidance of the moon and the auspices of Momus (god of mirth) . (Adams S-3; Betts pp. 66-70, note 3).
Good Extremely Fine, some original lustre.
Most likely struck for the Régiment de la Calotte, a festive and carnival society of military origin, this medal has been traditionally ascribed to John Law, the famous Scottish economist of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Surrounded by a bad reputation for the disastrous results of his financial and economic adventures – such as the Mississippi bubble – he is now considered to have been a forerunner in his field. The whimsical nature of this medal could be viewed as a satire upon Law, but the later attribution is indeed accurate, as the reverse bears the coat-of-arms and banner of the jovial French society.