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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Geography ▸ FranceView Options:  |  |  |   

France (Mints and Types)

This theme includes Celtic, Greek, Roman and later coins struck at mints in France and coins related to historical events which took place in France. Coins struck at mints in France during the Constantinian Era and Late Roman Period are very popular with collectors because they are often the most interesting and attractive coins of the period.


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
 


Severus II, 25 July 306 - Summer 307 A.D.

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"This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue...The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RT85634. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 199a, Bastien XI 377, SRCV IV 14632, Cohen VII 43, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, some silvering, encrustations, flan crack, weight 10.066 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 1 May 305 - 25 Jul 306 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, kalathos on head, naked but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand over altar at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, star right, PLC in exergue; scarce; $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.
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
 


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Rouen (Latin: Rotomagus) is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries.
RA73288. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 736, RIC V-2 662 (R), Carausian Hoard 72, SRCV IV 13715 var. (legends), Hunter IV -, King Unmarked -, Bicester -, gF, green patina, earthen encrustations, some corrosion, weight 5.197 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 225o, Rotomagus (Rouen, France) mint, mid 286 - mid 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse SALVS AVG (the health of the Emperor), Salus standing half left, from patera in her right hand, feeding snake rising from the left side of a column altar at her feet, cornucopia in left hand, nothing in exergue; rare; $230.00 SALE PRICE $207.00
 


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
 


Magnentius, 18 January 350 - 10 August 353 A.D.

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Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2). Dates of operation: 15 B.C. - c. 90 A.D., 195 - 196, and c. 254 - 423. Mintmarks: LG, LVG
RT85637. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Lyons 126, LRBC II 221, Bastien Lyon 174, SRCV V 18820, Hunter V 43 var. (pellet above SV), EF, dark toned silvered surfaces, well centered on a tight flan, die wear, tiny edge chip, slightest porosity, weight 5.201 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 18 Jan 350 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAE (victories of our lords, Emperor and Caesar), two Victories holding wreath containing VOT V MVLT X, SV below, RPLG in exergue; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT85635. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 85 (S), Bastien XI 148, SRCV IV -, VF, well centered, spots of corrosion, porous, tiny edge cracks, weight 8.364 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 300 - 302 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXIMIANVS AVG, laureate bust left, lion skin over shoulders, club in right hand over right shoulder; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius of the Roman people standing half left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand on to flaming altar before him, cornucopia in left hand, A right, PLG in exergue; rare; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00
 


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
 




  



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