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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Medieval & Modern Coins ▸ FranceView Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of France

Anglo-Gallic, Henry VI de Lancastre, King of France and England, 1422 - 1453

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In 1422, the year old king of England inherited the French throne through his mad grandfather Charles VI of France; the iconography of this type represents the unification of the two nations. Ten years later Joan of Arc would make an appearance which would eventually loosen the English grip on France until by 1436 only Normandy and part of Maine remained in Henry's control.
SH87710. Silver petit blanc, Elias 297a (R), Duplessy 446, Ciani 603, Lafaurie 450, SCBC-SII 8167, leopard mintmark, F, toned, bumps, scratches, crowded flan, weight 1.159 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 210o, Rouen mint, 1423 - 1449; obverse (leopard) HEN-RICVS: - REX (King Henry, triple pellet stop), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side; reverse (leopard) SIT: nOmE: DnI: BEHEDICV' (Blessed be the name of the Lord, triple pellet stops), Latin cross, h left, R right; ex Gordon Andreas Singer, ex E.R. Duncan Elias Collection; rare; $600.00 (€510.00)
 


France, Philip IV the Fair, 1285 - 1314 A.D.

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King Philip IV, deeply in debt to the Knights Templar, took advantage of rumors about the Order's secret initiation ceremony. On Friday, October 13, 1307, he had the Order's members in France arrested (the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition). Pope Clement, under threat from Philip, instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. Many Templars were tortured into giving false confessions and burned at the stake. Grand Master Jacques de Molay, burned alive in Paris in 1314, called out from the flames, "Dieu sait qui a tort et a pëché. Il va bientot arriver malheur à ceux qui nous ont condamnés à mort" ("God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death"). Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year.
ME87718. Silver Gros Tournois, Van Hengel 432.02; Duplessy 213, Ciani 201, Roberts 2461, Lafaurie I 217, VF, well centered and stuck, part of edge a little ragged, weight 3.966 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 270o, 1285 - 1290; obverse outer legend: + BNDICTV: SIT: NOmE: DNI: nRI: DEI: IhV: XPI (the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed, N's as H, m open, triple pellet stops), inner legend: + PHILIPPVS' REX (King Philip, no stop); cross pattée; reverse TVRONVS CIVIS (City of Tours, R with tail, round O, N reversed, pellet at top of second V, no stop), Châtel tournois topped with a cross, border of twelve lis within arches; $395.00 (€335.75)
 


Anglo-Gallic, Henry VI de Lancastre, King of France and England, 1422 - 1453

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In 1422, the year old king of England inherited the French throne through his mad grandfather Charles VI of France; the iconography of this type represents the unification of the two nations. Ten years later Joan of Arc would make an appearance which would eventually loosen the English grip on France until by 1436 only Normandy and part of Maine remained in Henry's control.
UK87707. Silver grand blanc aux écus, Elias 287, SCBC-SII 8166, Ciani 602, Duplessy 445, Lafaurie 449, Poey d'Avant 3191; leopard mint mark, nice VF, centered on a crowded flan, toned, weight 3.128 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 135o, Rouen mint, 23 Nov 1422 - 1449; obverse (leopard left) FRANCORVm: ET: ANGLIE: REX (King of France and England, triple pellet stops), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side, hERICVS above; reverse (leopard left) SIT: nOmEN: DnI: BENEDICV (Blessed be the name of the Lord, triple pellet stops), Latin cross, fleur-de-lis to left, leopard left on right, hERICVS below; $375.00 (€318.75)
 


Anglo-Gallic, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Aquitaine, 1355 - 1375

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Edward the Black Prince was the eldest son of King Edward III and the father of King Richard II of England. He was the first Duke of Cornwall (from 1337), the Prince of Wales (from 1343) and the Prince of Aquitaine (1362–72). He was an exceptional military leader, and his victories over the French at the Battles of Crécy and Poitiers made him very popular in England during his lifetime. In 1348 he was made a Founding Knight of the Garter. Edward died one year before his father, becoming the first English Prince of Wales not to become King of England. The throne passed instead to his son Richard II, a minor, upon the death of Edward III.
UK87709. Silver Hardi d'Argent, Elias 206a, Poey d'Avant 3054 var. (AGLE), Duplessy Féodales 1126, SCBC-SII 8134, Boudeau 513 , VF, toned, clear legends, strike a little weak/flat, weight 1.204 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 195o, La Rochelle mint, 1362 - 1372; obverse ED PO. GnS - REG. AGLIE (Edwardvus, Primo Genitvs Regis Anglie - Edward, first born of the King of England, pellet stops), half-length figure of Edward facing beneath Gothic canopy, sword in right hand, raising left in benediction; reverse *PRN-CPS* R - AQIT-AnIE (Princeps Aqvitanie - Prince of Aquitaine, R = La Rochelle mintmark, rosette stops), long cross pattée, lis in first and fourth quarters, leopard in second and third quarters; $350.00 (€297.50)
 


France, Henri IV, 2 August 1589 - 14 May 1610

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Henry IV, also known as "Good King Henry", was King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III of France, Henry was called to the French succession in 1589. He initially kept the Protestant faith but after four years and at least 12 assassination attempts, he abjured the Calvinist faith. He promulgated the Edict of Nantes in 1598, guaranteeing religious freedom and ending the Wars of Religion. He was assassinated in 1610 by a fanatical Catholic. Unpopular immediately after his accession, Henry's popularity greatly improved after his death. The "Good King Henry" (le bon roi Henri) was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. Henry is said to have originated the oft-repeated phrase, "a chicken in every pot."
WO86330. Silver 1/4 Ecu, cf. Duplessy 1224A var. (RX vice REX), Ciani 1517 var. (RX vice R), KM 27, VF, toned, well centered, tight flan, bumps and scratches, small edge crack, weight 9.507 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 0o, Bayonne mint, 2nd type, 1605 L; obverse + •SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI•BENEDICVM• (Blessed be the name of the Lord) followed by Bayonne mintmark, crowned shield of France, II - II flanking across field; reverse + HENRICVS IIII•D•G•FRANC•E•NAVA•RX•1605 (Henry IV, by the Grace of God, King of France and Navarre), Foliate cross, quatrefoil around cross of five pellets at center, lily arms, pellet at each end; $310.00 (€263.50)
 


France, Charles IX, 1560 - 1574

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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 King Henry 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; $310.00 (€263.50)
 


France, John II the Good, 1319 - 1364

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When John II the Good (French: Jean le Bon) came to power, France faced many disasters: the Black Death killed nearly half its population, there were popular revolts, unemployed mercenaries plundered the country, and losses to the English, including the Battle of Poitiers of 1356, in which John was captured. While John was a prisoner in London, his son Charles had to suppress several rebellions. To liberate his father, in 1360 Charles concluded the Treaty of Brétigny, by which France surrendered territory and promised to pay an enormous ransom. In an exchange of hostages, including his son Louis, John was released from captivity to raise funds for his ransom. Upon his return in France, he created the franc to stabilize the currency. John tried to get rid of the mercenaries by sending them on a crusade, but Pope Innocent VI died shortly before their planned meeting in Avignon. After his son Louis escaped from captivity, John shocked and dismayed his people by announcing that for "good faith and honor" he would voluntarily return to captivity in England. John was greeted in London in 1364 with parades and feasts, however, a few months after his arrival he fell ill with an unknown malady and died. His body was returned to France, where he was interred in the royal chambers at Saint Denis Basilica. He was succeeded by his son Charles V.
ME87716. Silver Blanc aux quadrilobes, Duplessy 299, Ciani 376, Lafaurie 302, Roberts 2611, gVF, toned, crowded flan, much of outer legend weak/off flan, edge splits, reverse die crack, weight 3.049 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 315o, 1st emission, authorized 31 Oct 1354; obverse FRANC in center between horizontal lines, both above and below crown flanked on each side by lis, border of 12 lis in arches; reverse outer legend: + BNDICTV: SIT: nOmE: DNI: nRI: DEI: IhV. XPI (the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed, triple pellet stops), inner legend: + IOhAnnES * REX (King Philip, quatrefoil stop); cross potent, quatrefoil in second and third quadrants; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; rare; $280.00 (€238.00)
 


France, John II the Good, 26 April 1319 - 8 April 1364

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When John II the Good (French: Jean le Bon) came to power, France faced many disasters: the Black Death killed nearly half its population, there were popular revolts, unemployed mercenaries plundered the country, and losses to the English, including the Battle of Poitiers of 1356, in which John was captured. While John was a prisoner in London, his son Charles had to suppress several rebellions. To liberate his father, in 1360 Charles concluded the Treaty of Brétigny, by which France surrendered territory and promised to pay an enormous ransom. In an exchange of hostages, including his son Louis, John was released from captivity to raise funds for his ransom. Upon his return in France, he created the franc to stabilize the currency. John tried to get rid of the mercenaries by sending them on a crusade, but Pope Innocent VI died shortly before their planned meeting in Avignon. After his son Louis escaped from captivity, John shocked and dismayed his people by announcing that for "good faith and honor" he would voluntarily return to captivity in England. John was greeted in London in 1364 with parades and feasts, however, a few months after his arrival he fell ill with an unknown malady and died. His body was returned to France, where he was interred in the royal chambers at Saint Denis Basilica. He was succeeded by his son Charles V.
ME87717. Silver Blanc aux quadrilobes, Duplessy 297, Ciani 369, Lafaurie 300, Roberts 2511, F, toned, uneven strike with weak areas, tight flan cutting off parts of outer legend, porosity, weight 1.293 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st emmision, authorized 22 Jan 1352; obverse outer legend: + BNDICTV: SIT: nOmE: DNI: nRI: DEI: IhV. XPI (the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed, triple pellet stops), inner legend: + IO-HAn-nES - REX (King John, no stop); cross potent dividing the inner legend; reverse TVRONVS•CIVIS (City of Tours, pellet stop), Châtel tournois topped with flower, outer border of twelve lis within arches; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; very rare; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Anglo-Gallic, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Aquitaine, 1362 - 1372

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Edward of Woodstock (15 June 1330 - 8 June 1376), called the Black Prince, was the eldest son of King Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, and the father of King Richard II of England. He was the first Duke of Cornwall (from 1337), the Prince of Wales (from 1343) and the Prince of Aquitaine (1362-72). He was an exceptional military leader, and his victories over the French at the Battles of Crécy and Poitiers made him very popular in England during his lifetime. Edward died one year before his father, becoming the first English Prince of Wales not to become King of England. The throne passed instead to his son Richard II, a minor, upon the death of Edward III.
ME87706. Silver esterlin (sterling), Elias 192a (S), SCBC-SII 8133, Duplessy Féodales 1125A, Boudeau 511, Poey d'Avant –, F, centered, crowded flan (typical for type), uneven toning, clashed dies, light marks and scratches, weight 0.898 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 135o, Limoges mint, 2nd issue; obverse + : ED:PO:GIT·REG:An:L (Edwardus Primo Genetis Regis Anglie, Limoges, double annulet before legend, double rosette stops), half-length figure of Edward right, wearing floral wreath. sword in right hand over right shoulder, raising left hand in benediction; reverse : PRI-CPS - AQV-TAE (Prince of Aquitaine, double annulet before legend), long cross pattée, trefoil of three pellets in each quarter; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


France, Philip IV the Fair, 1285 - 1314

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King Philip IV, deeply in debt to the Knights Templar, took advantage of rumors about the Order's secret initiation ceremony. On Friday, October 13, 1307, he had the Order's members in France arrested (the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition). Pope Clement, under threat from Philip, instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. Many Templars were tortured into giving false confessions and burned at the stake. Grand Master Jacques de Molay, burned alive in Paris in 1314, called out from the flames, "Dieu sait qui a tort et a pëché. Il va bientot arriver malheur à ceux qui nous ont condamnés à mort" ("God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death"). Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year.
ME87711. Silver Obole or maille bourgeoise, Ciani 235, Duplessy 233, Lafaurie 238, Roberts 2641, VF, toned, well struck, tiny edge split, weight 0.432 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, Bourges mint, authorized 26 Jan 1311; obverse + PHILIP-PVS REX, Latin cross, dividing the legend at the bottom; reverse BVRGENSIS (annulet on N), NOV/VS in two lines; lis above, dividing legend and flanked on each side by three pellets arranged in a triangle; $180.00 (€153.00)
 







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REFERENCES

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Boudeau, E. Monnaies Françaises Provinciales. (Maastricht, 1970).
Ciani, L. Les Monnaies Royales Francaises, Hugues Capet A Louis XVI. (Paris, 1926).
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Droulers, F. Répertoire général des monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610 - 1792). (Paris, 2012).
Dumas, F. "Les Monnaies normandes (Xe-XIIe siècles) avec un répertoire des trouvailles" in RN 1979, pp. 84-140, pl. XV - XXI.
Duplessy, J. Les monnaies françaises féodales. (Paris, 2004-2010).
Duplessy, J. Les monnaies françaises royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793). (Paris, 1988).
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Friedberg, A. & I. Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present. (Clifton, NJ, 2009).
Gadoury, V. Monnaies françaises 1789-2015. (Monte Carlo, 2015).
Grierson, P. & M. Blackburn. Medieval European Coinage, Vol. 1: The Early Middle Ages (5th - 10th Centuries). (Cambridge, 2007).
Krause, C. & C. Mishler. Standard Catalog of World Coins. (Iola, WI, 2010 - ).
Lafaurie, Jean. Les Monnaies de Rois de France. (Paris, 1951-1956).
Legros, D. Monnaies Féodales Françaises. (1984).
Mayhew, N., ed. The Gros Tournois. (Oxford, 1997).
Metcalf, D. Coinage of the Crusaders and the Latin East in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. (London, 1995).
Poey-d'Avant, F. Monnaies Féodales de France. (1858).
Roberts, J. The Silver Coins of Medieval France (476-1610 AD). (South Salem, NY, 1996).
Sambon, A. "Les deniers rouennais, monnaie courante du comté d'Aversa près de Naples aux xie et xne siècle" in Gazette numismatique française, 1898.
Spink. The Important Collection of Anglo-Gallic and related French and English Coins - Formed by the late Edward Elias, auction, 21 Jun 1990, London.
van Hengel, C. "A Classification for the Gros Tournois" in Mayhew, N., ed. The Gros Tournois. (Oxford, 1997).
Woodhead, P. The Herbert Schneider Collection, Volume Three, Anglo-Gallic, Flemish and Brabantine Gold Coins, 1330 - 1794. (London, 2011).

Catalog current as of Saturday, December 15, 2018.
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