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Coins of France

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

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The obverse depicts the Annunciation, the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation.

This coin was struck at Dijon, a rare mint for the issue, which was minted in nine cities across France.

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.
SH79998. Gold Salut D'or, Schneider 102, Elias 268c, Duplessy 443, Lafaurie 447, gVF, weight 3.468 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Dijon mint, 2nd issue, 6 Sep 1423 - 1436; obverse vernicle, hENRICVS: DEI: GRA: FRACORV: AGLI: REX (Henry, by the grace of God, King of the Franks and English), double saltire stops, Virgin Mary, behind Arms of France, facing Angel Gabriel in profile left behind quartered Arms of France and England, light of God above AVE downward on scroll between them, within beaded circle; reverse vernicle, XPC'*VIHCIT'*XPC'*REGNAT'*XPC'*ImPERAT'* (Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands), mullet stops, central Latin cross, fleur de lis to left, lion to right, h below, all within tressure of ten arcs, fleur de lis on cusps, all within linear and beaded circle; this is a legend variety where Z is absent after FRACORV; very rare; SOLD


France, Charles V the Wise, 1364 - 1380

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As a young prince, Charles V the Wise received the province of Dauphiné to rule; thereafter, all heirs apparent of France bore the title of Dauphin until coronation. Charles became regent of France when his father John II was captured by the English at the Battle of Poitiers. The nobility rebelled after he raised taxes to pay the ransom. Charles overcame the rebellions, but to liberate his father, he had to conclude the Treaty of Brétigny in 1360, in which he abandoned large portions of south-western France to England and promised a huge ransom. After Charles became king, his skillful management allowed him to replenish the treasury and restore the prestige of the House of Valois. He established the first permanent army paid with regular wages, which liberated the French populace from the companies of routiers who plundered the country when not employed. The French Army turned the tide of the Hundred Years' War, reconquering almost all the territories ceded to the English in 1360. He was succeeded by his son Charles VI the Mad, whose disastrous reign allowed the English to regain control of large parts of France.

On April 20, 1365, it was decreed in the name of the king Charles V the manufacture of the new gold francs known as francs à pied (franc on foot) with the value of twenty sols tournois (one livre tournois). This coin, lighter than the franc à cheval (franc on horseback), weighed 3.824 grams and was struck to the standard of 64 pieces to the gold mark.
SH84617. Gold franc à pied, Duplessy 360, Ciani 457, Lafaurie 371, Friedberg 284, aEF, excellent centering, die wear, bumps and scratches, weight 3.823 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 270o, no date, after 20 April 1365; obverse + KAROLVS x DI x GR - FRAnCORV x REX (Charles, by the grace of God, king of the Franks), crowned king standing facing under Gothic dais, wearing a coat of arms fleur-de-lis over coat of mail, sword in right hand, hand of justice scepter in left hand, pattern of small fleurs-de-lis in fields; reverse + XPC * VInCIT * XPC * REGnAT * XPC * IMPERAT (Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands), cross fleurée quatrilobe at center, fleur-de-lis in 1st and 4th quarters, crown in 2nd and 3rd quarters, all within quadrilobe, fleurs-de-lis in spandrels; SOLD


France, Louis XVI, 10 May 1774 - 4 September 1791 A.D.

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Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France and Navarre before the French Revolution; during which he was also known as Louis Capet. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, Dauphin of France, son and heir apparent of Louis XV of France, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he became King of France and Navarre, which he remained until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of King of the French until his suspension on 10 August 1792. Louis XVI was guillotined on 21 January 1793.

The Louis d'or (20 francs) under Louis XVI was minted between 1785 and 1792 and had a dimension of 23 mm, and a weight of 7.6490 g, a fineness of 0.917, and gold content of 0.2255 troy oz.
SH84615. Gold louis d'or, Duplessy 1707, Ciani 2183, Gadoury 361, SCWC KM 591.5, Friedberg 475, Choice EF, mint luster, light marks, weight 7.663 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lyon mint, 1786, 1st issue; obverse LUD. XVI. D. G. FR. - ET NAV. REX (LVDOVICVS XIII DEI GRATIA FRANCIAE ET NAVARRAE REX "Louis XIII by the grace of God king of France and of Navarre"), head of Louis XVI left, DUVIV (engraver B. Duvivier) on truncation, bee (sign of the mintmaster Jean-Claude Gabet) below; reverse CHRS. REGN. VINC. IMPER 1786 (CHRISTVS REGNAT VINCIT IMPERAT "Christ reigns, conquers and commands"), crowned arms of France and Navarre, D (Lyon mintmark) below, eagle head left (symbol of engraver Jean Humbert Bernavon) before date; SOLD


France, Louis XVI, 10 May 1774 - 4 September 1791 A.D.

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Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France and Navarre before the French Revolution; during which he was also known as Louis Capet. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, Dauphin of France, son and heir apparent of Louis XV of France, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he became King of France and Navarre, which he remained until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of King of the French until his suspension on 10 August 1792. Louis XVI was guillotined on 21 January 1793.

The Louis d'or (20 francs) under Louis XVI was minted between 1785 and 1792 and had a dimension of 23 mm, and a weight of 7.6490 g, a fineness of 0.917, and gold content of 0.2255 troy oz.
SH85376. Gold louis d'or, Duplessy 1707, Ciani 2183, Gadoury 361, SCWC KM 591.1, Friedberg 475, gVF, luster, light marks and scratches, flan adjustment marks on reverse, weight 7.564 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, Paris mint, 1786; obverse LUD. XVI. D. G. FR. - ET NAV. REX (LVDOVICVS XIII DEI GRATIA FRANCIAE ET NAVARRAE REX - Louis XIII by the grace of God king of France and of Navarre), head of Louis XVI left, DUVIV (engraver B. Duvivier) on truncation, heron standing left (sign of the mintmaster Jean Dupeyron de la Cosre) below; reverse CHRS. REGN. VINC. IMPER 1786 (CHRISTVS REGNAT VINCIT IMPERAT - Christ reigns, conquers and commands), crowned arms of France and Navarre, A (Paris mintmark) below, lyre (symbol of mint official F. Bernier) before date; SOLD


France, Louis XII, 8 April 1498 - 31 December 1514

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To marry Anne of Brittany and absorb Brittany into France, Louis claimed his wife Joan of France was physically malformed and unable to consummate the marriage. Joan produced witnesses to Louis' boast of having "mounted my wife three or four times during the night." In a decision predetermined by politics, the marriage was annulled. After Anne died, Louis married Mary Tudor, the sister of Henry VIII, King of England. Louis had no living sons; he was desperate to produce an heir. He died less than three months after he married Mary, reputedly worn out by bedchamber exertions.
SL54549. Gold Ecu, Duplessy 647, NGC XF 40, Saint Lô mint, obverse crown, LVDOVICVS : DEI : GRA : FRANCORVM : REX, crowned arms of France, sun above, pellet mint mark at 19th position on inner border; reverse crown, XPS : VINCIT : XPS : REGNAT : XPS : IMPERAT, cross fleurée (arms ending in lis) with pellet inside quatrafoil in the center, pellet mint mark at 19th position on inner border; SOLD


France, Charles X, 1824 - 1830

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For most of his life Charles X was known as the Count of Artois (in French, comte d'Artois). An uncle of the uncrowned Louis XVII, and younger brother to reigning kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile and eventually succeeded him. His rule of almost six years ended in the July Revolution of 1830, with his abdication and the election of Louis Philippe I as King. Exiled once again, Charles died in 1836 in Gorizia, then part of the Austrian Empire. He was the last of the French rulers from the senior branch of the House of Bourbon.
SH86157. Gold 40 Francs, Gadoury 1105, Friedberg 547, SCWC KM 721.1, Schlumberger Gold 170, EF, light bumps and marks; incuse on edge: DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM (Lord save the King), weight 12.867 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Paris (A) mint, 1830; obverse CHARLES X ROI DE FRANCE., bare head right, MICHAUT. (engraver Auguste-Francois Michaut) over italic T below; reverse crowned shield of France, flanked by 40 - F, all surrounded by a laurel wreath formed of two branches tied at the bottom, 1830 below flanked by an anchor on left and A (Paris mintmark) on right; SOLD


France, Henry III, 1574 - 1589

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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, iridescent toning, 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 cuirassed bust 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; SOLD


England, Edward I Longshanks, 1272 - 1307

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Elias notes, "In my experience for every 30 or 40 deniers with the EDWARD' FILI' legend only one with the EDWARDVS REX occurs."

Known as Edward Longshanks for his height of 6 ft. 2 in., and sometimes as the "Hammer of the Scots." Edward was ruthless in pursuing his aims and crushing those who opposed him. He conquered large parts of Wales and almost succeeding in doing the same to Scotland.
UK86321. Silver denier au lion, Elias 15 (RR), SCBC-SII 8016, Duplessy 1039, Poey d'Avant 2790, aVF, toned, scratches, earthen deposits, small edge crack, weight 0.736 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Aquitaine mint, 1272 - 1307; obverse + EDWARDVS REX (King Edward, S on its side), lion passant left within inner circle; reverse + DVX AqVITANIE (Duke of Aquitaine), cross pattée within inner circle; very rare; SOLD


France, Provincial, Duchy of Normandie, William the Conqueror, 1035 - 1087, In the Name of William Rufus(?)

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There are two varieties of this denier, one with RICAR above the pediment (Legros 336) and the other with two W's (Legros 337, Dumas and Legros list only one specimen, in the Brussels Coin Cabinet). These two types were struck in the reign of William the Conqueror, after 1070. The RICAR issue may have been struck in the name of his son Richard (1057- c. 1081), Duke of Bernay; and the W's may refer to his son William Rufus (1056 - 1100), King of the English.
ME79660. Silver denier, Dumas pl. XX, 12 (Brussels Coin Cabinet); Legros 337 (same, unique); Poey d'Avant –; Duplessy Féodales –; Roberts –; De Wit Collection –, VF, toned, weight 0.801 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rouen mint, c. 1070 - 1081; obverse + NORMANNA, cross pattée, pellets in each quarter, within linear inner border; reverse stylized cathedral facade, cross within arched doorway, two pellets above arch, two towers flanking (each a line topped with an annulet), pellet in triangular pediment, two W's (for William Rufus?) above the pediment; extremely rare; SOLD


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; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Beresford-Jones, R. A Manual of Anglo-Gallic Gold Coins. (London, 1964).
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Poey-d'Avant, F. Monnaies Féodales de France. (1858).
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Sambon, A. "Les deniers rouennais, monnaie courante du comté d'Aversa près de Naples aux xie et xne siècle" in Gazette numismatique française, 1898.
Sombart, S. Catalogue des monnaies royales françaises de François Ier à Henri IV. (Paris, 1997).
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van Hengel, C. "A Classification for the Gros Tournois" in Mayhew, N., ed. The Gros Tournois. (Oxford, 1997).
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Catalog current as of Friday, November 22, 2019.
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