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

Coins of France
Charles X, Cardinal of Bourbon, 1589 - 1590

|France|, |Charles| |X,| |Cardinal| |of| |Bourbon,| |1589| |-| |1590|, |ecu| |d'or|
A French cardinal, the Catholic League considered him the rightful King of France after the death of Henry III of France in 1589. His claim was recognized as part of the secret Treaty of Joinville concluded between Philip II of Spain and the League. Henry III had Charles imprisoned in the castle of Blois on December 23 1588. He was transferred from one castle to another, presumably to prevent escape, until his death in May 1590.
SH94150. Gold ecu d'or, Duplessy 1172, Ciani 1481, Lafaurie 1015, Friedberg 389, gVF, tight flan, light marks, double strike, small edge cracks, weight 3.294 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 135o, Paris mint, 1593 A; obverse CAROLVS•X•D•G•FRANCOR•REX (mm: arrowhead) 1593 (Charles X, by the grace of God, king of the Franks), legend divided by sun at the top, crowned arms of France (three lis), A below; reverse + CHRISTVS•REGNAT•VINCIT:ET•IMPERAT (Christ reigns, conquers, and commands), cross fleurée, quadrilobe flower at the center, arms ending in lis; very rare; $1450.00 SALE |PRICE| $1170.00
 


France, King Louis Philippe, 1830 - 1848

|France|, |France,| |King| |Louis| |Philippe,| |1830| |-| |1848|, |40| |Francs|
Louis Philippe I was King from 1830 to 1848. As Duke of Chartres he distinguished himself during the Revolution but broke with the Republic over the execution of King Louis XVI. He fled to Switzerland in 1793 after being connected with a plot to restore the monarchy. He remained in exile for 21 years. He was proclaimed king after his cousin Charles X was forced to abdicate. He was dominated by wealthy industrialists and bankers and followed conservative policies. He promoted friendship with Britain and sponsored colonial expansion, including French conquest of Algeria. His popularity faded as the economy deteriorated in 1847. He was forced to abdicate by the French Revolution of 1848. He lived out his life in exile in the UK.
SH94140. Gold 40 Francs, Krause KM 747.1, Friedberg 557, EF, bumps and marks, edge lettering: DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE (God protects France), weight 12.840 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Paris mint, 1834; obverse LOUIS PHILIPPE I ROI DES FRANCAIS, head left wearing oak wreath, small DOMARD. F (engraver) below; reverse 40 FRANCS 1834 (in 3 lines) within wreath comprised of an olive branch on the right, a laurel branch on the left, tiny anchor lower left, tiny star below, tiny a lower right; $1300.00 SALE |PRICE| $940.00
 


France, Consulat, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, 1799 - 1804

|France|, |France,| |Consulat,| |Napoleon| |Bonaparte,| |First| |Consul,| |1799| |-| |1804|, |40| |Francs|
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, Henry III, 1574 - 1589

|France|, |France,| |Henry| |III,| |1574| |-| |1589|, |ecu| |d'or|
Three months after Henri was 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 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, his body was disinterred, desecrated, and thrown into a common grave.
SH94141. Gold ecu d'or, Duplessy 1121A, Ciani 1408, Lafaurie 960, Friedberg 386, Kopicki 10474 (R4), gVF, some luster, well centered, tight flan, bumps, scratches, small hole, weight 3.365 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 135o, Rouen mint, 1587 B; obverse HENRICVS. III. D: G. FRANC. ET. POL. REX. (Henry III, by the grace of God, king of France and Poland) legend divided by sun at the top, crowned arms of France (three lis), B below; reverse + CRISTVS. REIGN. VINCIT. ET. IMP 1578 (Christ reigns, vanquishes and commands), cross fleurée, quadrilobe flower at the center, arms ending in lis; ex Karl Stephens Inc (Temple City, CA); rare; $650.00 SALE |PRICE| $585.00
 


France, Louis XIV the Sun King, 1643 - 1715

|France|, |France,| |Louis| |XIV| |the| |Sun| |King,| |1643| |-| |1715|, |demi-écu| |aux| |quatre| |L|
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
 


Anglo-Gallic, Edward III, 1372 - 1377

|England|, |Anglo-Gallic,| |Edward| |III,| |1372| |-| |1377|, |double| |au| |leopard| |sous| |couronne|
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.
ME94138. Billon double au leopard sous couronne, SCBC 8080, Elias 92c, Duplessy Féodales 1092A, Elias Collection 167, Boudeau 500, Poey d'Avant 2895, VF, dark toning, clashed dies, flan adjustment marks, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 0.912 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 90o, obverse + ED' REX : AnGLIE (King Edward of England, trefoil after ED and at end of legend), crown with leopard left below, rosette under leopard, all within inner circle; reverse + mOnETA DVPLEX (rosette at end of legend), cross pattée with crown in 1st and 4th angles, all within inner circle; scarce; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $320.00
 


France, Louis IX, 1226 - 1270

|France|, |France,| |Louis| |IX,| |1226| |-| |1270|, |Gros| |Tournois|
Saint Louis ruled when France was at its height, both politically and economically. Louis was a devout Catholic, and he built the Sainte-Chapelle. He was renowned for his charity. The peace and blessings of the realm come to us through the poor he would say. Beggars were fed from his table, he ate their leavings, washed their feet, ministered to the wants of lepers, and daily fed over one hundred poor. He founded the House of the Felles-Dieu for reformed prostitutes, the Quinze-Vingt for 300 blind men, and hospitals at Pontoise, Vernon, and Compiégne. He died at Tunis, during his second crusade. He is the only canonized king of France; consequently, there are many places named after him, most notably St. Louis, Missouri.
WO95134. Silver Gros Tournois, Duplessy 190a, Ciani 181a, Lafaurie 198a, Roberts 2451, VF, dark toning, scratches, centers weak, weight 3.099 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 0o, Touraine mint, c. 1266 - 1270; obverse + LVDOVICVS•REX (inner legend) +BNDICTV:SIT:NOME:DNI:NRI:DEI:IHV:XPI (outer legend triple stops), cross pattée; reverse + TVRONIS•CIVIS, châtel tournois, border of twelve lis, pellets flanking uppermost lis; ex Gordon Andreas Singer; $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00
 


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.
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, Henry III, 1574 - 1589

|France|, |France,| |Henry| |III,| |1574| |-| |1589|, |franc|
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
 


France, Kingdom of Navarre and Viscountcy of Béarn, Henri III of Navarre (II of Béarn), 1572 - 1610

|France|, |France,| |Kingdom| |of| |Navarre| |and| |Viscountcy| |of| |Béarn,| |Henri| |III| |of| |Navarre| |(II| |of| |Béarn),| |1572| |-| |1610|, |teston|
Henry IV of France, also known as "Good King Henry," was King of Navarre (Henry III) from 1572 and Viscount of Béarn (Henry II) from 1572. Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III of France, Henry was called to the French succession in 1589. He initially kept the Protestant faith but after four years and at least 12 assassination attempts, he abjured the Calvinist faith. He promulgated the Edict of Nantes in 1598, guaranteeing religious freedom and ending the Wars of Religion. He was assassinated in 1610 by a fanatical Catholic. Unpopular immediately after his accession, Henry's popularity greatly improved after his death. The "Good King Henry" (le bon roi Henri) was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. Henry is said to have originated the oft-repeated phrase, "a chicken in every pot."
WO88341. Silver teston, Duplessy Féodales 1313, Boudeau 604, Poey d'Avant 3471 & pl. LXXIV, 9 corr. (no D cow B acorn, etc.), VF, well centered, toned, double strike, portrait strike a little weak, weight 9.506 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, Béarn, Morlaàs mint, 1573; obverse HENRICVS•II•D•G•REX•NAVARRE•D (cow) B (acorn) (Henry II, by the grace of god, king of Navarre), laureate and cuirassed bust of Henry III, high ruffled collar; reverse GRATIA•DEI•SVM•QD•SVM•1573 (thank God I am what I am), 5 pointed star after date, crowned coat of arms shield, crown cutting the legend at the top, 1st and 4th quarter with arms of Navarre, 2nd of Béarn, and 3rd of Bourbon, flanked on each side with a crowned H; ex Ross D. King (Ontario dealer); $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00 ON RESERVE




  



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REFERENCES|

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