Henri IV, 1608-B

Duplessy 1201; Friedberg 392, PCGS graded AU-55

Henri of Navarre, the eldest scion of the House of Bourbon-Vendôme succeeded to the throne of France as Henri IV following the death of Henri III in 1589. His rise to the kingship was made problematic by the fact that he was a leading Huguenot noble opposed by the Catholic nobility in France as well as by the Spanish-led Catholic League. Nevertheless, by 1590 he had managed to claim almost the entirety of France through conquest. The Catholic stronghold of Paris, however, held out against him and was placed under siege. Realizing that Paris could never be taken without great spilling of blood and that a Protestant King of France would forever be a target for neighboring Catholic rulers, Henri IV renounced his Calvinist beliefs and returned to the Catholic fold. In this way he was able to enter the city and accept the crown, famously remarking, “Paris is worth a mass.”

Rouen, 1st type. HENRICVS · IIII · D : G (sun) FRAN · ET · NAVA · REX · , crowned arms of France. Reverse: + CHRISTVS · REGNAT · VINCIT · ET · IMP (crown) 1608, lobed cross fleurdelisée.

Ex Künker (28 September 2006), 5195