In James Robert
's book The Silver Coins of Medieval France
on page 357, it states, "Heraldic leopards and lions are essentially identical, though the former are customarily depicted passant-gardant (walking with the head
turned), and the latter is often rampant....". The subtitle of this section, which includes your coin is "Leopards of Aquitaine." It goes on to state, "After the English expulsion, the lion
reappeared as a local symbol, like the dolphin
of Dauphine." I would venture to say that your animal would indeed represent a leopard; Jim is a pretty smart fella! I hope
this answers your question to some satisfaction.