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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; $540.00 SALE PRICE $486.00
 


Anglo-Gallic, Aquitaine, Henri IV, 30 September 1399 – 20 March 1413

|France|, |Anglo-Gallic,| |Aquitaine,| |Henri| |IV,| |30| |September| |1399| |–| |20| |March| |1413||Hardi| |d'Argent|
It was common in the 19th century for museums and occasionally collectors to mark coins with a number in ink. Unfortunately the origin of this number is not known. The number can be removed with a solvent cleaner, but it is part of the history of the coin.

Henry IV was King of England from 1399 to 1413. He asserted the claim of his grandfather King Edward III, a maternal grandson of Philip IV of France, to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the first English ruler since the Norman Conquest, over three hundred years prior, whose mother tongue was English rather than French.
WO99274. Silver Hardi d'Argent, Elias 233h (S), SCBC-SII 8147, Duplessy Féodales 1140, Poey d'Avant 3121, Boudeau 517, gF, toned, ink museum number on rev., weight 1.110 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Aquitaine mint, 1399 - 1413; obverse ERIC R AGLE (Henry, King of England), half-length figure of king facing, crowned, sword in right hand, left hand raised, pellet above crown, canopy above, figure and canopy breaking legend; reverse FRA-CIE* - DNS - ACI* (France and Lord of Aquitaine, rosette after FRANCI and ACI), long cross dividing legend, leopard in 1st and 3rd angles, lis with pellet below in 2nd and 4th angles; scarce; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00
 


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; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00
 


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; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00
 


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

|France|, |France,| |Second| |Republic,| |1848| |-| |1852,| |Bronze| |Medal,| |1848||medal|NEW
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 SALE PRICE $81.00
 


Feudal France, City of Hagenau, Leopold I (HRE), 1665

|France|, |Feudal| |France,| |City| |of| |Hagenau,| |Leopold| |I| |(HRE),| |1665||2| |kreuzer|NEW
Haguenau, now in northeastern France, was founded by German dukes and has swapped back and forth several times between Germany and France over the centuries, with its spelling altering between "Hagenau" and "Haguenau" by the turn. In the beginning of the 12th century, Duke Frederick II the One-Eyed of Swabia erected a hunting lodge on an island in the Moder River. In 1154, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa fortified the settlement and gave it town rights, important for further development. On the site of the hunting lodge he founded an imperial palace he regarded as his favorite residence. The "Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire," the jeweled imperial crown, sceptre, imperial orb, and sword of Charlemagne were kept there. The city passed to France with other parts of Alsace in 1648.
WO92105. Silver 2 kreuzer, SCWC KM 51 (German States, p. 547), VF, toned, light corrosion, die damage on obverse, weight 0.822 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 270o, Hagenau (Haguenau, France) mint, 1655; obverse LEOPOLD I D G RO IMP SE AVG (Leopold I, by God's grace, Roman imperator, always august), two headed imperial eagle, wings spread, 2 (mark of value) in orb on chest, crown over cross above dividing legend and linear inner border; reverse (3-leaf clover) MON NOV CIV HAGENOIENSIS (new money city of Hagenau), open rose with five pedals in shield (arms of Hagenau), 1665 above, linear inner border; ex Busso Peus Nachf (Frankfurt am Main, Germany); rare; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
 







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REFERENCES

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