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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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On 12 December 1422, each mint was assigned a mint-mark to be placed at the beginning of the obverse and reverse legends. The omission of the pellet beside the root mint-mark was ordered 17 July 1432.

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.
UK86158. Silver grand blanc aux écus, Elias 285 (R), Ciani 602, Duplessy 445, Lafaurie 449, SCBC-SSI 8166; root with pellet left mintmark, F, toned, reverse double struck, weight 2.876 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 90o, Lemans mint, 12 Dec 1422 - 17 Jul 1432; obverse (pellet and root) FRANCORVm: ET: ANGLIE: REX (King of France and England), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side, hERICVS above; reverse (pellet root) SIT: nOmEN: DnI: BENEDICV (Blessed be the name of the Lord), Latin cross, fleur-de-lis to left, leopard left on right, hERICVS below; rare; $395.00 (€335.75)
 


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-SSI 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; $395.00 (€335.75)
 


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.
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; $360.00 (€306.00)
 


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; $350.00 (€297.50)
 


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.
UK86152. Silver demi-gros, Elias 178d, SCBC-SSI 8131, Duplessy Féodales 1124A, Boudeau 510, VF, clashed dies, slightly grainy porous areas, weight 2.314 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 0o, Limoges mint, second issue; obverse + : ED PO GnS REGIS A P L (Edwardus Primo Genetis Regis Anglie Princeps, Limoges, 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 outer legend: : GLIA In XCELCIS DEO ET IN TRA PAX (Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, pellet stops), inner legend: PRI-CPS - AQV-TAE (Prince of Aquitaine, no stops); long cross pattée dividing legends, trefoil of three pellets in each quarter; $295.00 (€250.75)
 


Anglo-Gallic, Edward III, 1372 - 1377

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This type and similar billon Anglo-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-SSI 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 (King Edward), leopard passant left above AnGL' between lines, rosette below, all within inner circle, double pellet stops; reverse + DVX : AQITAnIE (Duke of Aquitaine), cross pattée, within inner circle, double pellet stops; very rare; $250.00 (€212.50)
 


Anglo-Gallic, Richard I the Lionhearted, Count of Poitou and King of England 1189 - 1199

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The only coins of Richard struck in his own name are those of his French possessions; English issues attributed to Richard are all in the name and types of his father, Henry II.

Richard I is known as Richard Coeur de Lion or Richard the Lionhearted for his bravery in battle. He was born and spent his childhood in England. By the age of 16, Richard had command of his own army and put down rebellions against his father in Poitou. As king, he was off on Crusade, in captivity, or defending his lands in France, spending as little as 6 months of his 10-year reign in England. He spoke French and Occitan, but never learned English. Rather than regarding his kingdom as a responsibility requiring his presence as ruler, it seems he saw it primarily as a source of revenue to support his armies. As the leader of the Third Crusade after the departure of Philip II of France, he won considerable victories against Saladin, but did not retake Jerusalem. He was seen as a pious hero by his subjects and is one of the few kings of England remembered by his epithet, rather than regnal number, and is an enduring iconic figure both in England and in France. Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest during Richard's reign.
UK86156. Silver denier, Elias 8L (S); Duplessy Feodales 924; Poey d'Avant pl. LIV, 21; SCBC-SSI 8008, aVF, weight 0.961 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, Melle (Deux-Sèvres) mint, 1189 - 1199; obverse + RICARDVS REX (King Richard), cross pattée within inner dot border; reverse PIC/TAVIE/NSIS ([County of] Poitou) in three lines across field, wedge pointing right below; scarce variety; $225.00 (€191.25)
 


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.
UK86155. Silver grand blanc aux écus, Elias 287, SCBC-SSI 8166, Ciani 602, Duplessy 445, Lafaurie 449; leopard mint mark, VF, toned, tight flan, parts of legend weak, weight 3.171 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rouen mint, 23 Nov 1422 - 1449; obverse (leopard) FRANCORVm: ET: ANGLIE: REX (King of France and England), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side, hERICVS above; reverse (leopard) SIT: nOmEN: DnI: BENEDICV (Blessed be the name of the Lord), Latin cross, fleur-de-lis to left, leopard left on right, hERICVS below; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


France, Strasbourg, Louis XIV, 1684

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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)
 


France, Louis XV the Beloved, 1715 – 1774

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Aix (Aquae Sextiae) was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus, who gave his name to its springs, following the destruction of the nearby Gallic oppidum at Entremont. In 102 B.C. its neighborhood was the scene of the Battle of Aquae Sextiae, where the Romans under Gaius Marius defeated the Cimbri and Teutones, with mass suicides among the captured women, which passed into Roman legends of Germanic heroism. In the 4th century A.D. it became the metropolis of Narbonensis Secunda. It was occupied by the Visigoths in 477. In the succeeding century, the town was repeatedly plundered by the Franks and Lombards, and was occupied by the Saracens in 731 and by Charles Martel in 737. Aix, which during the Middle Ages was the capital of Provence, its zenith was after the 12th century, when, under the houses of Barcelona and Aragon and Anjou, it became an artistic center and seat of learning. Aix passed to the crown of France with the rest of Provence in 1487, and in 1501 Louis XII established there the parliament of Provence, which existed until 1789. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the town was the seat of the Intendance of Provence. Archeological excavations in the Ville des Tours, a medieval suburb of Aix, have unearthed the remains of a Roman amphitheatre.
WO86744. Copper sol d'Aix, Duplessy 1696, Lafaurie 703, Ciani 2144, Krause KM 542, VF, well centered on a tight flan, light marks and corrosion, weight 11.619 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Aix-en-Provence mint, 1772; obverse LUDOV. XV. - D. GRATIA (Louis XV, by the Grace of God), laureate head right, heart below; reverse FRANCIÆ. ET - NAVARRÆ. REX•1772• (King of France and Navarre), crowned arms of France (shield with three lis) with round bottom, & (mintmark) below; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $120.00 (€102.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Depeyrot, G. Le numéraire Mérovingien l'age du denier. Moneta 22. (Wetteren, 2001).
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.
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Krause, C. & C. Mishler. Standard Catalog of World Coins. (Iola, WI, 2010 - ).
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Metcalf, D. Coinage of the Crusaders and the Latin East in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. (London, 1995).
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Spink. The Important Collection of Anglo-Gallic and related French and English Coins - Formed by the late Edward Elias, auction, 21 Jun 1990, London.
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Catalog current as of Wednesday, April 25, 2018.
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