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Austria, Leopold V, Archduke of Further Austria, 1626 - 1632
Leopold V, Archduke of Further Austria, Bishop of Passau and of Strasbourg, until he resigned to get married. was the son of Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria, and the younger brother of Emperor Ferdinand II. The Archduchy of Austria was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. With its capital at Vienna, the archduchy was centered at the Empire's southeastern periphery. The obverse legend abbreviates Latin, "Leopoldus Dei Gratia Archidux Austriae Dux Burgundiae Sacrae Caesaraea Majestatis et Reliquorum." The reverse legend abbreviates Latin, "Archiducum Gubernator Plenarius Comes Tirolis." WO95139. Silver Thaler, SCWC KM 264.5, Moser-Tursky 422, Davenport 3330, Voglhuber 175, Choice EF, toned, weight 28.496 g, maximum diameter 42.8 mm, die axis 0o, Hall mint, 1621; obverse LEOPOLDVS D:G:ARCHID:AUSTRIAE DVX BVRG:S:CAES:M:ET RELIQ:, bare-headed, mantled bust right, 16-Z1 divided across field; reverse ARCHIDVC:GVBERNATOR PLENARIVS COM:TIROL: Archiducum pilot plenary count of Tyrol, crowned composite arms with ornaments; $600.00 SALE |PRICE| $540.00
France, Louis XIV the Sun King, 1643 - 1715
Under Louis XIV, the Sun King, France reached the apogee of its power. His reign began at age four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days; one of the longest of any European monarch. He fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. Louis converted a hunting lodge into the spectacular Palace of Versailles, and by compelling the noble elite to inhabit his lavish palace, he pacified the aristocracy and eliminated the remnants of feudalism. He consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution. WO95140. Silver demi ecu de Flandre, Duplessy 1510, Gadoury 182 (1686IL), Ciani 1885, SCWC KM 262.2, aVF, dark toning, scratches, small edge flaw on reverse; edge lettering: DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM CHRISTIANISSIMVM (Lord, save our most Christian king), weight 18.319 g, maximum diameter 36.7 mm, die axis 180o, Lille mint, 1686; obverse LVD•XIIII•D•G (sun) FR ET•NAV REX (Louis XIV, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre), draped bust right, wearing large long wig; reverse BENEDICTVM 1686 + SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI IL (Blessed be the name of the Lord, divided by date and IL mintmark), crowned quartered shield of France, New and Old Burgundy; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; rare; $1100.00 SALE |PRICE| $990.00
Anglo-Gallic, Henry VI de Lancastre, King of France and England, 1422 - 1453
In 1422, the year old king of England inherited the French throne from 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. WO95135. Silver grand blanc aux écus, Elias 281a (RR), Ciani 602, Duplessy 445, Lafaurie 449, SCBC-SII 8166; cross ancrée (anchored) mint mark, aVF, toned, weight 3.019 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, Auxerre mint, authorized 23 Nov 1422; obverse (cross ancrée) FRANCORVm: ET: ANGLIE: REX (King of France and England), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side, hERICVS (no abbreviation mark) above; reverse (cross ancrée) SIT: nOmEN: DnI: BENEDICTV (Blessed be the name of the Lord), Latin cross, fleur-de-lis to left, leopard left on right, hERICVS below; ex Classical Numismatic Auctions XX (25 March 1992), lot 1465 (catalog online); very rare; $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00
France, Consulat, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, 1799 - 1804
On November 10, 1799, Napoleon led a bloodless coup forcing the Directors to resign and abolish the constitution that established the French Directorate. Under the new constitution, the real power was held by the First Consul, Napoleon himself. While not declaring himself sole ruler, it was in reality a military dictatorship. The unpretentious bare-headed depiction of Napoleon on this coin seems to be modeled on the bare-headed depictions of Octavian struck after he had crushed his opponents at the Battle of Actium. Just as Octavian would soon become Augustus, Napoleon would soon become Emperor. Napoleon would rule as Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. WO95137. Gold 40 Francs, Gadoury 1080 (variety: XIA without olive), SCWC KM 652, Friedberg 479, aEF, light contact marks; 0.900 fine gold; edge lettering: * DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE (God protects France), weight 12.860 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Paris mint, 18 Apr 1803 - 1804 A.D.; obverse BONAPARTE PREMIER CONSUL., bare head left, mint masters mark (Tiolier) below; reverse REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE. (clockwise above); .rooster. AN IX. .A. (counterclockwise below), 40 FRANCS., in wreath tied at the bottom with a ribbon; $850.00 SALE |PRICE| $765.00
France, Louis XIV the Sun King, 1643 - 1715
Under Louis XIV, the Sun King, France reached the apogee of its power. His reign began at age four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days; one of the longest of any European monarch. He fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. Louis converted a hunting lodge into the spectacular Palace of Versailles, and by compelling the noble elite to inhabit his lavish palace, he pacified the aristocracy and eliminated the remnants of feudalism. He consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution. WO95138. Silver demi-écu aux quatre L, Duplessy 1515A (1690Y), Ciani 1890, SCWC KM 273.16, Choice aEF, dark toning; edge lettering: DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM (Lord, save the King), weight 13.180 g, maximum diameter 33.5 mm, die axis 180o, Bourges mint, 1st reformation, 1690; obverse LVD•XIIII•D•G * (sun) FR•ET•NAV•REX (Louis XIV, by the grace of God, king of France and Navarre), draped bust right, 1690 below; reverse CHRS REGN VINC IMP * (Christus regnat vincit imperat: Christ reigns, conquers, and commands), cross of eight L's with crown at each end, Y (mintmark) in circle at center, fleur-de-lis in each angle; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $342.00
Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 385 - 380 B.C.
Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. The founders were Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta). These out-of-wedlock unions were permitted to increase the prospective number of soldiers (only the citizens could be soldiers) during the bloody Messenian wars. Later, however, when they were no longer needed, their citizenship was retroactively nul|lified and the sons were obliged to leave Greece forever. Their leader, Phalanthus, consulted the oracle at Delphi and was told to make the harbor of Taranto their home. They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon, and of a local nymph, Satyrion. The reverse depicts Taras being saved from a shipwreck by a dolphin sent to him by Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today. GS95128. Silver nomos, Fischer-Bossert 930, SNG ANS 1012, Vlasto 634, aEF, centered on a tight flan, die wear/damage, weight 7.805 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 385 - 380 B.C.; obverse horseman right, nude, circular shield on left arm, two couched spears in left hand, a third spear in his raised right hand, E-Π-A clockwise above, API below horse's belly; reverse Taras astride a dolphin left, kantharos in right, oar behind in left hand, KA upper left, TAPAΣ curving downward on right; from the CEB Collection; $600.00 SALE |PRICE| $540.00
Constantine IX Monomachus, 12 June 1042 - 11 January 1055
In 1047, Constantine's nephew, general Leo Tornikios rebelled and besieged Constantinople from 25 to 28 September. Two assaults on the walls were turned back by the defenders under the personal leadership of Constantine. Despite suffering from gout and having no military experience, he showed courage and energy. Tornikios was forced to withdraw. After a failed attack on Rhaidestos, his followers abandoned him. He found refuge in a church, but was lured out, captured, and on Christmas day, he was blinded at Constantinople. Nothing thereafter is known about him. SH95130. Gold scyphate histamenon nomisma, DOC III part 2, 3; Morrisson BnF 4 - 10; Wroth BMC (Constantine VIII) 6 - 9; Ratto (Constantine VIII) 1970; Sommer 48.3; Berk 304; SBCV 1830, EF, well centered and struck, beautiful depiction of Christ, weight 4.373 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 150o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Jun 1042 - 11 Jan 1055; obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIhm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger with crescents in upper quarters, tunic and himation, raising right hand in blessing, gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWNSTAnTn BASILEWS Rm, bearded bust of Constantine XI facing, crown with cross and pendilia, jewels around neck, jeweled chlamys, long cross scepter in right, globe surmounted by pellet cross in left, triple border; from the CEB Collection, ex Edward J. Waddell; $950.00 SALE |PRICE| $855.00
England, Elizabeth I, 1558 - 1603
Scarce early milled issue. At twenty-five years old, Elizabeth inherited a weak bankrupt nation, torn by religious discord. Her supporters counseled that her only hope, was to marry quickly and lean upon her husband. Instead, she ruled alone for nearly half a century, driven by her genuine love for her subjects. She is perhaps the greatest English monarch in history. WO95131. Silver shilling, SCBC 2549, bust 2A, F, toned, light scratches, weight 5.696 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 45o, Tower mint, first issue, 1559 - 1560; obverse (lis mm) ELIZABETH D G ANG FRA Z HIB REGI (Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France, and Ireland), crowned bust left, decorated dress, wire and bead inner circles; reverse (lis mm) POSVI DEV AD IVTORE M MEVM (I have made God my helper), coat-of-arms (passant lions and fleurs-de-lis) on long cross fourchée, wire and bead inner circles; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $370.00 (€340.40)
Anglo-Gallic, Henry VI de Lancastre, King of France and England, 1422 - 1453
In 1422, the year old king of England inherited the French throne from 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. WO95132. Silver grand blanc aux écus, Elias 288, Ciani 602, Duplessy 445, Lafaurie 449, SCBC-SII 8166; lis mint mark, VF, toned, areas of weak strike, weight 3.148 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 270o, St Lô mint, 23 Nov 1422 - 1449; obverse (lis mm) FRANCORVm: ET: ANGLIE: REX (King of France and England), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side, hERICVS above; reverse (lis mm) SIT: nOmEN: DnI: BENEDICV (Blessed be the name of the Lord), Latin cross, fleur-de-lis to left, leopard left on right, hERICVS below; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $295.00 (€271.40)
France, Henry III, 1574 - 1589
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. WO95133. Silver franc, Duplessy 1130A, Ciani 1434, Roberts 3612, Lafaurie 970, aVF, nice toning, tight flan cutting off some legend, small edge split, weight 12.631 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, Toulouse (M) mint, 1583; 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, pellet behind, M (Toulouse workshop letter) below bust, 1583 at bottom between end and beginning of legend; reverse (scallop shell) •SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI•BENEDICTVM•C• (Blessed be the name of the Lord), foliate cross fleurée, H surrounded by dots in the center; $345.00 SALE |PRICE| $310.00
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