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I need help with identifying this one


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Thanks for posting that, Kuhli! This coin helps set one record straight. The coin has the denomination on it. I have relied on sources that put the first denominated coin as the franc of Henry III/IV of France, circa 1575-1600. Of course, there were ancient exceptions before the tradition. The denarius used to carry an X (ten). Fractions from Kolophon c. 400 BC had TE and TH on them to indicate third or fourth of an obol. However, those ancient exceptions did not establish a tradition, so we look the coins of Henry III 1589 as being the first to carry the denomination. (The advantage, of course, was that the coin could carry the same denomination, so matter how small or debased it became.)

 

However, this Grosso of Prague clearly announced its nominal value, three hundred years before the francs of Navarre.

 

I printed off the page and put it in with my reference materials.

 

Thanks, again!

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Thanks for posting that, Kuhli!  This coin helps set one record straight.  The coin has the denomination on it.  I have relied on sources that put the first denominated coin as the franc of Henry III/IV of France, circa 1575-1600.  Of course, there were ancient exceptions before the tradition.  The denarius used to carry an X (ten).  Fractions from Kolophon c. 400 BC had TE and TH on them to indicate third or fourth of an obol.  However, those ancient exceptions did not establish a tradition, so we look the coins of Henry III 1589 as being the first to carry the denomination.  (The advantage, of course, was that the coin could carry the same denomination, so matter how small or debased it became.) 

 

However, this Grosso of Prague clearly announced its nominal value, three hundred years before the francs of Navarre.

 

I printed off the page and put it in with my reference materials.

 

Thanks, again!

 

I'm intrigued. Which particular `franc' of Henri III/ IV has the denomination on it? If there is one, then i'm somewhat embarassed as I haven't come across it yet and that time / location is my prime interest area.

 

Sure, some french coinage of that era have D G Franc in the legends, some have DG Francor, and others DG Francorum, all of which merely signify `King of France', and certainly not a denomination as such. But you know that, so i'm figuring that there must be some issue I haven't come across yet (?)

 

Now Henri IV of France did produce a denominated coin called a DEMI-ESCU (half ecu) in 1589. The denomination is prominently displayed under his bust in exergue.

 

However, (to my knopwledge) his `franc' issues followed the same intrinsic style as first issued by Henri III of France in 1575 (the first `silver' franc was actually first struck in 1576 but dated 1575). However, Henri IV's `francs', like the francs before them, carry no notation of denomination on them. Indeed I think the first use of `franc' on a coin of France appeared as the large `five francs' coin of L'an 4 de la revolution, which was previously denominated as `six livres', and prior to that as an `ecu de six livres' or simply `ecu').

 

I don't disbelieve you/ your source, but I would welcome any reference to a `franc' that is observably denominated as being a `franc' prior to L'an 4 so I can rectify the gap in my understanding.

 

Ian

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I'm intrigued. Which particular `franc' of Henri III/ IV has the denomination on it? If there is one, then i'm somewhat embarassed as I haven't come across it yet and that time / location is my prime interest area.  ... Now Henri IV of France did produce a denominated coin called a DEMI-ESCU  (half ecu) in 1589. The denomination is prominently displayed under his bust in exergue. ... ... I would welcome any reference ...

Perhaps I am the one who is to be embarassed. My reference is COINS by John Porteous, a popularised overview of numismatics, published in London, 1964. I believe that at least two editions of this work have been marketed. The one I have runs 96 pages. However, I am pretty sure that I found another in a bookstore and I regret not buying it. I have in mine, a note in my own hand based on correspondence from you, 6 January 2001. It reads:

1595 - Quarter ECU

           (15 shillings value: shillings silver vs. ecu gold)

First French coin to have a mark of value.

1575 for year 1576 Henry III -- Ian Milne

                                                         1/6/01

Porteous Coins page 66. Franc of 1575.

Page 66 of my copy of Porteous, the one paragraph ends:

"For example in France, the ecu, tariffed at 36 1/4 sous tournois in 1515 rose by stages to 75 s.t. in 1614 despite successive reductions in size, while the teston rose from 10 s.t. in 1515 to 14 1/2 s.t. in 1575, when it was superseded by the franc."

That is rather indirect. What I have been expecting to find -- and never found -- is a copy of Porteous with a picture of the coin in question. Perhaps it only exists in my imagination. A picture of a silver 1/2 franc of Henry IV with the image f Henry III appears on page 62.

 

(By the way, my edition has on page 66, an image turned sideways, negative 90 degrees, i.e., to the left of true, of a double Henry d'or.)

 

Back on January 6, 2001, Ian Milne wrote on rec.collecting.coins:

2. Ian Milne

Jan 6 2001, 4:31 pm 

Newsgroups: rec.collecting.coins

From: Ian Milne <imb...@cableinet.co.uk>  

Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 21:28:31 GMT

Subject: Re: Why Coins Were Clipped

Michael Edward Marotta wrote:

> Then about 1575, the Henry IV of France, seeking to bring order

> to silver coinage suffering from inflation that resulted from the

> looting of the Americas introduced a new coin, the franc. This

> coin had a legal value, independent of its weight.

 

Correct date, although the first actual date struck for circulation was

1576. Wrong King though. It was in fact Henri III (1574 -1589) who saw

the introduction of the Franc. His reign was notable for the fact that

it saw the introduction of copper coinage to France for the very first

time. 

 

I now have a copy of Poey d'Avant. Perhaps that would be more useful.

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;) I vaguely remember the 2001 posts, and mentioning the 1575/6 thing then. I don't recall any connection in relation to `denominated' coinage though.

 

There is no doubt that the `Demi-Escu' is a denomination on the 1589 Henri IV coin. Some may call it a `franc' because of the size comparisons to the franc, but the actual deniomination clearly makes it other than a `franc'. In any event my understanding is that there wasn't a coin in that time frame actually denominated (on the coin that is) as being a `franc'. At least not that i'm aware of.

 

Now, if we were looking at French `denominated' coinage as a subject (ie coins bearing note of their denomination on them) the the copper coinage of Henri III of France (specifically the `Double Tournois') precedes the 1589 `demi - escu' of Henri IV, as do the silver quarter and eighth ecus of Henri III. The `double tournois' and the `denier tournois' are named as such in the reverse legends. The silver 1/4 and 1/8 ECUS are denominated by II either side of the shield for the quarter ecu, V to the left of the shield and III to the right for the eighth ecu.

 

There are indeed much earlier precedents for French denominated coinage, for example the `obole tournois' of Charles V (1364-1380). The reverse carries the clear legend `OBOLUS CIVIS'. That is, the coin is an obol and actively says so. :ninja:

 

I had thought that perhaps you were possibly referring to a `franc' issue of Henri III of Navarre (later to be known as Henri IV of France). I'm certainly not so not sure of my ground concerning the coinage of Navarre prior to his assuming the French throne, but any such coinage would have to have been before 1589. Hence my query to you.

 

Ian

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  ... I had thought that perhaps you were possibly referring to a `franc' issue of Henri III of Navarre (later to be known as Henri IV of France). I'm certainly not so not sure of my ground concerning ... 

 

I wish I knew enough to be ignorant. ;)

 

Thanks for the details. I printed them out and put them in Porteous with the other printouts on this.

 

When you see me being authoratative in print, look for a footnote to you. :ninja:

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