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

Coins of France

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; $540.00 SALE PRICE $486.00
 


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.
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 SALE PRICE $360.00
 


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 SALE PRICE $315.00
 


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 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 SALE PRICE $225.00
 


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 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


France, Louis XIV the Sun King, 1643 - 1715

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This is quinzain is overstruck a douzain that was previously countermarked with a lis under Louis.
WO86740. Billon quinzain aux huit L, Duplessy 1581A, Ciani 1980, Gadoury 91, F, uneven weak strike, overstruck, edge crack, weight 1.960 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Toulouse mint, 1692 M; obverse (sun) LVD - XIIII - D G. FR - ET. N. R. (Louis XIV, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre), cross formed of eight L's, each arm crowned, the crowns breaking the legend, M in a circle at the center, cantoned of four fleur-de-lis diverging from the center; reverse SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTVM 1692 (Blessed be the name of the Lord), crowned shield of France, fleur-de-lis countermark; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00
 


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 SALE PRICE $108.00
 


Editions Victor Gadoury Numismatique, Monaco Auctions (4 Catalogs), 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015

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Please note that for orders shipped outside the USA, the shopping cart shipping charges may be too low if you order larger heavy books. We may ask for additional payment to cover the actual cost of postage. If the actual cost of postage is too high, we will understand if you cancel the order.
BC16284. Editions Victor Gadoury Numismatique, Monaco Auctions (4 Catalogs), 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, in French, 683 total pages, 3116 lots, softcover, international shipping at the actual cost of postage; $16.00 SALE PRICE $14.40
 







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REFERENCES

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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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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 Sunday, February 18, 2018.
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