Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 1 Franc 1898-1920, KM# 844, France
  • 1 Franc 1898-1920, KM# 844, France

Engraver: Louis-Oscar Roty


Depicts a sower wearing a Phrygian cap facing left, sunrise over the horizon. Engraver's name below.

This Sower originally dates back to 1887. This was the year when Oscar Roty designed a prize medal commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture. He went back to the Sower of 1887 but transformed his robust peasant into a slim Marianne (national symbol of the French Republic, an allegory of liberty and reason), wearing the Phrygian cap of Liberty. The traditional profile of the Republic was abandoned in favour of a more active, standing figure. Originally, The Sower was used on the fifty centime to two franc coins introduced in 1897 and 1898, before appearing on stamps in 1903. It is thus the most widespread work of art in France.

The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia, Dacia, and the Balkans. In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome. Accordingly, the Phrygian cap sometimes is called a liberty cap.

O. Roty


Depicts a value above an olive branch at the centre, date below, surrounded by the national motto of France (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity). The mintmarks of the Paris Mint on the right and a privy mark of Chief Engraver on the left from the value.

Mintmark of the Paris Mint: Cornucopia, horn of plenty

Privy mark of the Mint's Chief Engravers: Torch, Henri Auguste Patey (1896-1930)



1 Franc

3rd Republic
KM# 844 Gadoury# 467 Schön# 187
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Material Silver
Fineness 0.835
Weight 5 g
Diameter 23 mm
Thickness 1.4 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Alt # KM# 844.1, KM# 844.2
Castelsarrasin Mint (C)
Paris Mint (A)

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