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Three months after Henri was made the elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, his brother, Charles IX of France, died and Henri returned to France to assume the French throne. Henri brought several Polish inventions back to France, including septic facilities which deposited excrement outside the castle walls, a bath with regulated hot and cold water, and the fork. Henri gave protestant Huguenots the right of public worship, except in Paris and at Court. In response, Henry I, Duke of Guise, formed the Catholic League. Henri III was eventually forced to flee Paris. After he had the duke assassinated, Henri III prepared to return to Paris but was murdered before he could return. During the French Revolution, Henri III was disinterred from his tomb, his body was desecrated and thrown into a common grave.
On May 31, 1575, Henry III created a new 14.188 grams, .833 fine silver coin with the value of 20 sols tournois. The gold écu was set at 60 sols. The gold franc equaled 1/3 écu or 20 sols. This coin, corresponding to the value of the medieval gold franc, naturally took the name franc d'argent (silver franc). Our coin is a franc avec fraise, distinguished from the contemporary franc au col plat by the addition of a lace ruff to the king's collar. It was unique to the Toulouse mint. Due to constant clipping, the coinage of francs was suspended for good on October 13, 1586. After the death of the king, however, mints held by the Catholic League struck francs in his name.SH84614. Silver franc, Duplessy 1130A, Ciani 1434, Roberts 3612, Lafaurie 970, aVF, iridescenttoning, weight 13.995 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 180o, Toulouse (M) mint, 1586; obverse •HENRICVS•III D•G FRANC ET•POL•REX• (Henry III, by the grace of god, King of France and Poland), laureate and cuirassedbust of Henry III, ruffled collar, M (Toulouse workshop letter) below bust, 1586 at bottom between end and beginning of legend; reverse * SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI•BENEDICTVM S (Blessed be the name of the Lord), foliate cross fleurée, H surrounded by dots in the center; $540.00 (€459.00)
France, Charles IX, 1560 - 1574
Charles IX ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II. After decades of tension, war broke out between Protestants and Catholics after the massacre of Vassy in 1562. In 1572, after several unsuccessful peace attempts, Charles ordered the marriage of his sister Margaret of Valois to Henry of Navarre, a major Protestant nobleman and the future KingHenry IV of France, in a last desperate bid to reconcile his people. Facing popular hostility against this policy of appeasement, Charles allowed the massacre of all Huguenot leaders who gathered in Paris for the royal wedding at the instigation of his mother Catherine de' Medici. This event, known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, was a significant blow to the Huguenot movement. Religious civil warfare soon began anew. Charles ordered the Siege of La Rochelle, but was unable to take the Protestant stronghold. Charles died of tuberculosis without legitimate male issue in 1574 and was succeeded by his brother Henry III.WO86329. Silver teston, cf. Roberts 3551, Duplessy 1063, Ciani 1356, Lafaurie 895, VF, toned, scratches and marks, areas of weak strike, weight 8.927 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 255o, Saint-Lô mint, 1561; obverse CAROLVS•VIIII•D•G•FRANCO•REX• (Charles IX, by the Grace of God, King of France), laureate and cuirassed boy's bust left, C (mint-mark) below; reverse SIT•NOMEN•DNI•BENEDICIM•M•D•LXI (Blessed be the name of the Lord, 1561), crowned coat of arms (three fleur de lis), crowned C's flanking; very rare; $400.00 (€340.00)
France, Charles IX, 1560 - 1574
Charles IX ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II. After decades of tension, war broke out between Protestants and Catholics after the massacre of Vassy in 1562. In 1572, after several unsuccessful peace attempts, Charles ordered the marriage of his sister Margaret of Valois to Henry of Navarre, a major Protestant nobleman and the future KingHenry IV of France, in a last desperate bid to reconcile his people. Facing popular hostility against this policy of appeasement, Charles allowed the massacre of all Huguenot leaders who gathered in Paris for the royal wedding at the instigation of his mother Catherine de' Medici. This event, known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, was a significant blow to the Huguenot movement. Religious civil warfare soon began anew. Charles ordered the Siege of La Rochelle, but was unable to take the Protestant stronghold. Charles died of tuberculosis without legitimate male issue in 1574 and was succeeded by his brother Henry III. WO86742. Silver teston, Duplessy 1071, Lafaurie 9015, cf. Roberts 3551, Ciani -, VF, toned, parts of legends weak, weight 9.308 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 45o, Lyon mint, 1566 D; obverse CAROLVS•VIIII•D•G•FRANCO•REX•M• (Charles IX, by the Grace of God, King of France), laureate and cuirassed boy's bust left, D (mint-mark) below; reverse + SIT•NOMEN•DNI•BENEDICIM•M•D•LXVI•M.clover. (Blessed be the name of the Lord, 1566), crowned coat of arms (three fleur de lis); ex Gordon Andreas Singer; very rare; $350.00 (€297.50)
Vittore Gambello "Camelio", Venice, 1530's, The Divine Cleopatra 33mm Brass Medal
Vittore di Antonio Gambello, called Camelio, c. 1455/60 1537, was a sculptor, armorer, die engraver, jeweler, and medalist. He studied drawing under Jacopo Bellini. Camelio was the engraver at the zecca in Venice from 1484 to 1510 and engraver at the Papal Mint from 1513 to 1516.
Attwood and others have attributed this type to Belli but Flaten discusses how others have convincingly attributed it to Camelio based on style and his similar works.ME85860. Brass medal, Flaten 29; Hill and Pollard pl. 31, 4a-b; Attwood 384; cf. Kress 150, aVF/aF, with flan cracks, scratch, weight 26.339 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 180o, Venice mint, 1530; obverseCleopatra, Queen of Egypt, bust right, draped, hair tied at the back, wearing earring and jeweled diadem; reverse Nude youth (Apollo?) seated on a cloak-draped tree, uncertain objects (bow and quiver?) behind, dog (or sheep) below behind, flaming columnar altar at feet before him, ∆IA horizontal and KΛEOΠATPA downward (The Divine Cleopatra) in the right field; rare; $340.00 (€289.00)
Anglo-Gallic, Edward III, 1372 - 1377
This type and similar billonAnglo-Gallic coins looked silver when issued, but after some use turned black, hence their nickname, "black money." They were usually hastily and poorly struck, heavily circulated and worn, and seldom hoarded. Surviving examples are now rare and mostly low grade. WO86745. Billon denier au leopard, Elias 95 (RR), Duplessy Féodales 1095A, SCBC 8090, Poey d'Avant 2793 (Edward I), Boudeau -, aVF, well centered on a tight flan, uneven strike with parts of legend weak, areas of light corrosion, weight 0.683 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, 2nd type; obverse + EDVARDVS : REX, leopard passant left above AnGL' between lines, rosette below, all within inner circle, double pellet stops; reverse + DVX : AQITAnIE, cross pattée, within inner circle, double pellet stops; very rare; $250.00 (€212.50)
Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.
This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs less then 1/3 the weight of the even the lightest official Class B Byzantineanonymous follisForum has handled. Attribution to the Normans in Italy is based on the reputed find location and some similarity to other Byzantine imitatives issued by the Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily.ME73353. Bronze follaro, apparently unpublished, imitative of Class B Byzantineanonymous follis (SBCV 1823, Constantinople, 1028 - 1041); MEC Italy III -, MIR -, et al. -, F, weight 2.163 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Italian mint, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse IS - XS / bAS-ILE / bAS-ILE (Jesus Christ King of Kings, mostly off flan), Cross on three steps, dividing legend; from a California collector; $170.00 (€144.50)
France, Strasbourg, Louis XIV, 1684
The Free City of Strasbourg remained neutral during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and retained its status as a Free Imperial City. However, the city was later annexed by Louis XIV of France to extend the borders of his kingdom. Louis' advisors believed that, as long as Strasbourg remained independent, it would endanger the King's newly annexed territories in Alsace, and, that to defend these large rural lands effectively, a garrison had to be placed in towns such as Strasbourg. Indeed, the bridge over the Rhine at Strasbourg had been used repeatedly by Imperial (Holy Roman Empire) forces, and three times during the Franco-Dutch War Strasbourg had served as a gateway for Imperial invasions into Alsace. In September 1681 Louis' forces, though lacking a clear casus belli, surrounded the city with overwhelming force. After some negotiation, Louis marched into the city unopposed on 30 September 1681 and proclaimed its annexation.SH84610. Silver Sol, Ciani 2054, Gadoury 87, Duplessy 1599, Krause KM 245, VF, toned, light deposits, weight 0.936 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Strasbourg mint, 1684; obverse MON• NOV• ARGENTINENSIS (new currency of Strasbourg), fleur-de-lis; reverse *GLORIA• IN• EXCELSIS• DEO• (glory to God in heaven), •I• / •SOL• / 1684 in three lines; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $160.00 (€136.00)
Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.
Roger II was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1127, and then King of Sicily in 1130. Roger II is remembered for having united all of the Norman conquests in Italy under one strong central government. He was also the grandfather of Frederick II.ME70465. Bronze follaro, MIR 10 135 (R2), MEC Italy III 227, F, both sides off-center, weight 1.120 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1150 - 1151 A.D.; obverse half-length bust of the Virgin Orans facing, MHP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation for Mother of God) across field; reverse Arabic inscription arranged as a cross: umila five hundred forty five (struck in 545 AH), four dots arranged in a square in each quarter; very rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
Kingdom of Naples, Charles V (HRE), 1516 - 1554
Though always at war, Charles was a lover of peace. "Not greedy of territory," wrote Marcantonio Contarini in 1536, "but most greedy of peace and quiet." Charles pushed for the convocation of the Council of Trent, which began the Counter-Reformation. It was during Charles reign that Spain conquered the Aztecs of Mexico and Incas of Peru, and then extended its control across much of South and Central America. Charles provided five ships to Ferdinand Magellan whose voyage was the first circumnavigation of the Earth. He retired in 1556. The Habsburg Monarchy passed to his younger brother Ferdinand, and the Spanish Empire was inherited by his son Philip II. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century. Charles was only 54 when he retired, but after 34 years of energetic rule he was physically exhausted and sought the peace of a monastery where he died aged 58. Charles' motto, Plus Ultra ('Further Beyond'), became the national motto of Spain.SH66322. Bronze cavallo, MIR Napoli 156, VF, weight 1.215 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 90o, Naples mint, obverse PLVS : VLTRA, the Pillars of Hercules, banner over trefoil in center, crown above; reverse REX : IVSTVS, cross potent; $125.00 (€106.25)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy X Alexander I and Kleopatra Berenike, 101 - 88 B.C.
Alexander was the son of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III. In 110 B.C., his mother deposed his brother Ptolemy IX and he became king with his mother as co-regent. In 109 B.C., Ptolemy IX took back the throne but in 107 B.C. Alexander again became king with his mother as co-regent. In 101 B.C., he had his mother killed, and then ruled with his niece and wife, Berenice III. When he died, Ptolemy IX regained the throne. When Ptolemy IX died, Ptolemy X's wife Berenice III took the throne for six months.GP85356. Bronze didrachm, Svoronos 1712, Weiser 181, Cox Curium 113, SNG Cop -, Malter -, Noeske -, Hosking -, VF, edge crack, beveled obverse, flan casting sprues, weight 20.056 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Paphos mint, c. 100 - 90 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus-Ammon right, wearing tainia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, two eagles standing left on thunderbolt, heads left, wings closed, no symbol; $125.00 (€106.25)
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