Charles VI, 1420-1422

Duplessy 414; Friedberg 286, PCGS graded MS-61

The chaise d’or of Charles VI seems to depart from the iconography of earlier incarnations of the denomination. Instead of the ornate Gothic throne that normally signifies the chaise denomination, here the king sits on the simpler lion-headed Throne of Dagobert, holding a sword and scepter, while his feet rest on the back of a recumbent lion. The sword-bearing monarch looked back to the militaristic royal images of his father, Charles V, the Throne of Dagobert emphasized the legitimacy of Charles VI as the king of France ultimately descended from the Merovingian kings of the Franks, while the lion implied (falsely) supremacy over the English, who had so far been very successful in their campaigns against France in the Hundred Year’s War (1337-1453). Indeed, this coin was struck in the year of the infamous Treaty of Troyes (1420), in which Charles VI was compelled to disinherit his own son, the future Charles VII, and name Henry V of England as his legitimate heir. This agreement against the interests of France combined with the king’s real bouts of mental illness earned Charles VI the nickname le Fou (“the Mad”).

La Rochelle, under Prince Charles, as Regent, from July/August 1420-20 October 1422. + KAROLVS DEI GRACIA FRANCORVm REX, king seated facing, holding cruciform scepter and sword; shield and lion crouching to left and right. Reverse: + XPC VINCIT XPC REGNAT XPC IMPERAT, cross fleurée over short voided cross potent, with lis in each quarter; all within double polylobe, with lis in each spandrel.

Purchased privately from Goldberg, 1 January 2007