Henri II, 1558-H

Duplessy 971; Friedberg 367, NGC graded MS-62

Henri II continued the policies of his predecessors in Italy and against the House of Habsburg, waging the last of the Italian War in 1551-1559. Alliances with German Protestants, Elizabeth I of England, and the Ottoman Empire, permitted him to advance towards the Rhine, capture Calais, and plunder the Spanish Netherlands, but he enjoyed little real success in Italy. The financial exhaustion of France and the rising threat of Protestantism finally forced Henri II to accept the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559 and abandon French claims in Italy. In the same year, Henri II participated in a jousting tournament during which a splinter of a lance entered his eye. The wound became infected and he died on July 10, 1559. His tragic death cast a pall over the sport of jousting and reportedly led to its rapid decline in France.

La Rochelle, 1st type (14 January 1550). FRANCOIS REX HERCVS II D G, bare-headed and cuirassed bust of Henri II right. Reverse: DVM TOTVM COMPLEAT ORBEM 1558, cross with arms composed of Hs and terminating in crowns, alternating lis and crescents in the angles.

Ex Heritage (8 January 2018), 32196