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Coins of France

During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 B.C., holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia. The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into East Francia, Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia, which became the Kingdom of France in 987, emerged as a major European power in the Middle Ages under King Philip Augustus. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world. The 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots). France became Europe's dominant cultural, political, and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, establishing one of modern history's earliest republics and drafting the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire. His subsequent Napoleonic Wars (1803?15) shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, and was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War. The Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s, with most retaining close economic and military connections with France.

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

|France|, |Anglo-Gallic,| |Henry| |VI| |de| |Lancastre,| |King| |of| |France| |and| |England,| |1422| |-| |1453,| |The| |Annunciation||Salut| |D'or|
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 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.
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

|France|, |France,| |Charles| |V| |the| |Wise,| |1364| |-| |1380||franc| |à| |pied|
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, Charles IX, 1560 - 1574

|France|, |France,| |Charles| |IX,| |1560| |-| |1574||ecu| |d'or|
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.
SH96064. Gold ecu d'or, Duplessy 1057 var. (legends), Ciani 1343 var. (same), Friedberg 378 var. (same), Lafaurie 890 var. (same), Choice EF, double struck, weight 3.353 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Limoges mint, 1567; obverse (sun) CAROLVS:VIIII:D:G:FRANCO:REX: (Charles IX, by the Grace of God, King of France), crowned coat of arms (three fleur de lis); reverse + CRISTVS: REGNAT: VINGIT•ET•IMPE• (pellets under first G and N, floral ornament at end = mint master Jean Dubois), cross fleurée, I (mintmark) in lozenge at the center, arms ending in lis; ex Karl Stephens Inc. (Temple City, CA); this is the only example of this extremely rare variant known to FORVM; very rare; SOLD










REFERENCES|

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