Jean II, 1355

Duplessy 292; Friedberg 281, PCGS graded MS-61

The extremely rare half of the mouton d’or was known by the diminutive name moutonennet d’or (“little gold sheep”). It features the same popular types as the full mouton: the nimbate Lamb of God carrying the banner of Christian victory and the traditional reverse cross with arms terminating in fleurs-de-lis. The piety expressed by these types underlines the perception of Jean II as le Bon (“the Good”). Nevertheless, his reign was filled with bad. The Black Death wiped out almost half of the French population, in 1356 Jean II was defeated by the Black Prince of Wales at the Battle of Poitiers and captured, in 1358 the peasants who remained rose up in a revolt known as the Jacquerie, and unemployed mercenary bands (les Grandes Compagnies) plundered the countryside. Adding to the problems of Jean II were the fact that the Black Death had wiped out almost half of the French population. Despite what Mel Brooks might claim, it is not always so good (bon) to be the king.

17 January 1355. + AGn DEI QVI TOLL PCCA MVDI MISE NOB, paschal lamb standing left with banner, head right; IOh REX below. Reverse: + XPC VInCIT XPC REGnAT XPC IMPERAT, cross treflée and feuillue with lis in the angles, all within quadrilobe.

Ex MDC Monaco (1 December 2017), 378