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Henri IV, ¼ ecu 1603 Rennes

Started by Figleaf, February 10, 2022, 01:48:45 PM

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The transfer or power from the house of Valois to the house of Bourbon was difficult, as it coincided with the counter-reformation. Fortunately for the country, Henri of Navarre was a practical person as well as an able general. He bought, rather than fought opponents and when it was clear Paris would not make concessions, Henri made them. He is famously known the quote Paris vaut bien une messe - Paris is well worth a mass, indicating that he would cheerily do the needful, but without conviction. The expression entered the French language. Another quote ascribed to Henri is that he wished every frenchman could eat chicken. There is no solid evidence for that one either and it also became an expression that lives on. He convinced the fervent catholic governor of Brittany and son of De Guise, the duke of Mercœur, visited him in his HQ, Nantes, and followed that up with the edict of Nantes, giving unprecedented rights to protestants. In short, Henri IV was likely France's best king. He was murdered by a religious fanatic.

My coin is a ¼ écu. The écu was a gold coin of 60 sols. The mint is Rennes (9). Dy 1224. Note that the cross on earlier ¼ écu has been replaced by a cross made of leaves. See here.

Obv: cross of leaves +HENRICVS.IIII:Dei.Gratia.FRANcorvm.ET.NAVArvm.Rex 9 (mint) 1603
Rev: crowned arms dividing II and II (denomination) SIT•NOMEN•DOMINI•BENEDICTVM

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.