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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Medieval & Modern Coins| ▸ |France||View Options:  |  |  | 

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

|France|, |Anglo-Gallic,| |Henry| |VI| |de| |Lancastre,| |King| |of| |France| |and| |England,| |1422| |-| |1453||petit| |blanc|
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father's death, and succeeded to the French throne on the death of his grandfather, Charles VI, shortly afterwards. He is the only English monarch to also have been crowned King of France, as Henry II, in 1431.
WO99273. Silver petit blanc, Elias 292 (R), Duplessy I 446, Ciani 603, SCBC-SII 8167, Lafaurie 450, aVF, light deposits, scratches, weight 0.996 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 45o, crown mintmark, Paris mint, 1422 - 1436; obverse (crown) HEN-RICVS: - REX (King Henry, triple pellet stop), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side; reverse (crown) SIT: nOmE: DnI: BEHEDICTV' (Blessed be the name of the Lord), Latin cross, h - R (Henricus Rex) across lower half of field; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; rare; $380.00 (€361.00)
 


Anglo-Gallic Aquitaine, Edward I Longshanks, 20 November 1272 – 7 July 1307, As Duke and Son of Henry III

|France|, |Anglo-Gallic| |Aquitaine,| |Edward| |I| |Longshanks,| |20| |November| |1272| |–| |7| |July| |1307,| |As| |Duke| |and| |Son| |of| |Henry| |III||denier| |au| |lion|NEW
Edward I was a tall man for his era, at 6'2" (1.88 m), hence the nickname "Longshanks." Henry III ceded the duchy of Aquitaine to Edward in 1252. He ruled as King of England and Lord of Ireland, 20 Nov 1272 - 7 Jul 1307. He was ruthless in pursuing his aims and crushing those who opposed him. Edward fought in the 9th crusade before he became king. He conquered large parts of Wales and he built a series of castles and towns in the countryside and settled them with English people. He attempted to do the same to Scotland but after Philip IV of France (a Scottish ally) confiscated the Duchy of Gascony, Edward went to war with France. He recovered his duchy but the conflict relieved military pressure against Scotland. When the Edward I died, his son was left with a war with Scotland, financial and political problems.
ME99921. Silver denier au lion, Elias 13, SCBC-SII 8013, Duplessy 1037, Poey d'Avant 2786 , aF, toned, small edge cracks, weight 0.858 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Aquitaine mint, as Duke of Aquitaine, 1252 - 1272; obverse + EDVVARD FILI (Edward son of), lion left within inner circle; reverse + h REGIS ANGLIE (Henry King of England), cross pattée within inner circle; $300.00 (€285.00)
 


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

|France|, |Anglo-Gallic,| |Henry| |VI| |de| |Lancastre,| |King| |of| |France| |and| |England,| |1422| |-| |1453||grand| |blanc| |aux| |écus|
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.
UK99276. Silver grand blanc aux écus, Elias 288, Duplessy 445, Ciani 602, Lafaurie 449, SCBC-SII 8166, VF, toning, marks, weight 3.135 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 0o, lis mintmark, St Lô mint, 1422; obverse ⚜ FRANCORVm: ET: ANGLIE: REX (King of France and England), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side, hERICVS above; reverse ⚜ SIT: nOmEN: DnI: BENEDICTV (Blessed be the name of the Lord), Latin cross, fleur-de-lis to left, leopard left on right, hERICVS on a line below; $215.00 (€204.25)
 


France, Provincial, Duchy of Lorraine, Charles IV, 1624 - 1634 and 1661 - 1670

|France|, |France,| |Provincial,| |Duchy| |of| |Lorraine,| |Charles| |IV,| |1624| |-| |1634| |and| |1661| |-| |1670||teston|
Lorraine was Duchy of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles IV was Duke of Lorraine from 1624 until his death in 1675, with a brief interruption in 1634, when he abdicated under French pressure in favor of his younger brother, Nicholas Francis. He came to lose his duchy because of his anti-French policy; in 1633. Charles was a casualty of the fierce factional infighting in the French court between the King's brother Gaston d'Orléans, and Cardinal Richelieu, even though technically, Lorraine was subject to the Holy Roman Empire and the Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria. French troops invaded Lorraine in 1634 in retaliation for Charles's support of Gaston d'Orléans and he abdicated and entered the imperial service in the Thirty Years' War and was victorious at the Battle of Nördlingen. Shortly thereafter, Nicholas Francis too fled into exile and abdicated his claims, which were now taken up once again by Charles, who remained Duke of Lorraine in exile for the next quarter century.Charles_IV
WO99278. Silver teston, de Saulcy ducs p. 17; Boudeau 1557; SCWC KM German States, p. 638, 45 (no refs. note overdate), VF, well centered, irregularly shaped flan, light toning, light marks, flan flaw obv., weight 8.540 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nancy mint, 1628/(7?); obverse CAROLVS• D: G• DVX• LOTH• MARCH• D: C• B: G (Charles, by God's grace Duke of Lorraine and Marches, Duke of Calabria, Bar, Guelders), bust right of Charles IV, draped and armored, with a small flat collar, cross of Lorraine above; reverse MONETA• NOVA• NANCEII CVSA (New coinage made in Nancy), coat of arms shield topped with a ducal crown, intersecting the legend at the top, 1628 (1628/7 overdate?) above, on shield upper row from left to right: Hungary, Naples, Jerusalem, Aragon, bottom row from left to right: Anjou, Gelderland, Flanders and Bar; ex Classical Numismatic Group/Seaby; $215.00 (€204.25)
 


France, Francois-Vincent Raspail, Bronze Medal, After 1848

|Tokens,| |Medals| |&| |Exonumia|, |France,| |Francois-Vincent| |Raspail,| |Bronze| |Medal,| |After| |1848||medal|
François-Vincent Raspail, L.L.D., M.D. (25 Jan 1794 – 7 Jan 1878) was a French chemist, naturalist, physician, physiologist, attorney, and socialist politician. Raspail was one of the founders of the cell theory in biology. After the revolution of 1830, he became involved in politics. He was President of the Human Rights Society, and was imprisoned for that role. While in prison, he tended sick inmates and studied their diseases. In 1848, he founded a newspaper "L'ami du Peuple" and ran for President of the Second Republic, losing to Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III). He was imprisoned again after participating in attempted revolts in May 1848 and March 1849. In 1853, Napoleon III commuted his sentence of imprisonment to exile. He returned to France from exile in 1862. In 1869 he was elected deputy from Lyon and in 1875 from Marseille. He remained popular and respected during the French Third Republic. The longest boulevard in Paris was named Boulevard Raspail in his honor, after which the Raspail Métro station takes its name.
WO99713. Bronze medal, Collignon 777, UNC, mirror shine to fields, stains, weight 8.050 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 0o, after 1848; obverse FRANCOIS RASPAIL NE EN 1794 (born in 1794), bust of François Raspail facing slightly left; reverse PRESIDENT DU CLUB MONTESQUIEU (a human rights society), ELU / REPRESENTANT / DU PEUPLE / LE 21 7bre / 1848 / DETENU AU FORT / DE / VINCENNES in eight lines (elected representative of the people, on February 21 1848, detained at the fort of Vincennes); ex J. Eric Engstrom Collection; $110.00 (€104.50)
 


France, Second Republic, 1848 - 1852, Bronze Medal, 1848

|France|, |France,| |Second| |Republic,| |1848| |-| |1852,| |Bronze| |Medal,| |1848||medal|
The French Second Republic was the republican government of France between 1848 and 1852. The cross of hands on the obverse symbolizes faith and justice. The level on the base of the pedestal symbolizes equality. The oak wreath symbolizes wisdom (from ancient Greek mythology - Zeus made decisions while resting in an oak grove). Click here to see the Musée Carnavalet Histoire de Paris specimen.
WO99704. Copper medal, Musée Carnavalet Histoire de Paris ND5353, UNC, weight 16.989 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1848; obverse REPUBLIQUE - FRANCAISE, pedestal inscribed LIBERTA' UGUAGLIANZA FRATERNITA (liberty, equality, fraternity) in 3 lines, level, on base, globe on top, 4r flags, palm and sword behind, cross of hands above, 1848 in exergue, A GARNIER (engraver) in tiny letters below; reverse COMPAGNIE DU PALAIS NATIONAL arching above inscription in eight lines, LA / 2ME LEGION / DE PARIS / A LA VILLE D'EVREUX / EN SOUVENIR DE / L'ACCEUIL FRATERNEL / QUELLE RECUT LE 28 MAI 1848 (the 2nd legion of Paris in the city of Evreux in memory of the brotherly welcome it received on 28 May 1848), all within oak leaf wreath; From the J. Eric Engstrom Collection; $90.00 (€85.50)
 







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REFERENCES

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