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Unknown French Jeton 1560


spiritof89
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Looks genuine to me. "CAMERAE COMPUTOR REGIORUM" (Chambre des comptes du roi) --Royal Treasury. One of the first series of royal French jetons. This is similar to #1728 in Feuardent's catalogue --see site: http://archive.org/stream/jetonsetmreauxd00unkngoog#page/n156/mode/2up

Feuardent describes the image on the dated side (which he designates recto) as Mercury removing weeds from a bundle of wheat (left) and burning them on a fire (right). Mercury is a popular figure in French Renaissance iconography. God of commerce but also of thieves. Maybe this is an allegory of counterfeiting --separating the good from the bad. "SUBDUCENDIS RATIONIBUS" means "for the settling of accounts"; jetons were (among many other things) used traditionally as counters in drawing up bills etc.

 

1560 is an interesting date in France. Henri II died tragically in 1559 in a jousting tournament. He was succeeded by his sickly 15-yr-old son François II --who was married to Mary Queen of Scots-- who ruled only 15 months before dying in 1560 and being succeeded by his younger brother, Charles IX. Things were falling apart in France. The Wars of Religion were growing worse and under the treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559 (before the death of Henri II) France was significantly weakened politically in Europe.

 

16th-century French jetons tend to be poorly made, and not many survive in good condition. Yours looks great --I'd keep it for sure.

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