Author Topic: Henri IV, double tournois 1610  (Read 2483 times)

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Online Figleaf

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Henri IV, double tournois 1610
« on: January 17, 2012, 12:58:59 AM »
The French mint is issuing a series of pseudo coins with French rulers and heads of state. The pieces do not appeal to me. Here is one of the reasons, clarified with a modest copper coin. I bought the coin for FF10 (about €1.50) on the Paris coin market, a tiny fraction of what you will have to pay for the pseudo coin.

This is Dy 1273, a common copper double tournois 1610. Official weight 3.138 grams.
obv: laureate bust of the king in high collar and armour in a circle. .HENRI.IIII.R.DE.FRAN.ET.NAV A (Paris mintmark)
rev: three heraldic lilies in a circle +DOVBLE.TOURNOIS.1610.

The date and mintmark show that this coin was struck in the "Moulin des Etuves", making it one of the first coins ever to be struck on a screw press. It was setting a standard, radically different from medieval coins, one that would be maintained for centuries, until the industrial revolution mechanized the coinage process. De legend is in French, not latin. This is one of the first coins with a denomination.

Henri was a remarkable person. He started life as the heir apparent to the throne of Navarra. He married Marguerite de Valois, daughter of the King of France. The marriage was a disaster, but the political consequences were large. When François de France, the crown prince died in 1584, 29 years old, Henri de Navarre became first in line for the throne in France. However, France was in the throes of the counter-reformation, with catholics and protestants finding each other unacceptable. Henri was protestant and Paris was catholic.

When the king was murdered by a fanatical catholic, Henri became his successor, but Paris held out against him. Henri did not take the city by force, but converted to catholicism, holding that Paris was well worth a mass. This action ended to a very large degree the civil war between catholics and protestants. Henri proved to be flexible in other ways too. Rather than fighting disloyal lower nobility, he bought them. He ended wars, rather than starting them, but he was no coward. In his own words, he fought with a weapon on his arm and with his butt in a saddle. He made religious tolerance government policy with the edict of Nantes. He had a genuine concern for the people, declaring that he wanted to make sure that every French family could afford to have chicken on Sunday. He was wildly popular among the people, but despised among the wild-eyed radical protestants and catholics. In 1610, the year my coin was struck, he was murdered by a fanatical catholic, like his father-in-law. France remained calm, when it lost what may have been its best king.

My coin has character and historic value.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 10:21:03 PM by coffeetime »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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Re: Henri IV, double tournois 1610
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 01:11:04 AM »
Amen to that.  The irony is that the "real" coin is doubtless available for much less than the modern commemorative junk featuring the same historical figure.