Philippe VI, 1338

Duplessy 250; Friedberg 265, PCGS graded MS-63

The lion d’or was a gold denomination introduced by Philip VI in 1338. Although the image of the king seated on a throne ornamented with Gothic architectural motifs is ultimately derived from the chaise d’or of the Capetian Philip IV, the new Valois ruler has added a lion at the foot of the king on the obverse. It is from this detail that the denomination gained its nickname. The type can be read to emphasize the royal legitimacy of Philip IV in general—the lion has a long history as the king of beasts and emblem of monarchs. However, considering the introduction of the denomination just after the outbreak of the Hundred Year’s War (1337-1454) the type may symbolize a hoped-for victory over Edward III. Three lions were the standard heraldic blazon for the kings of England.

31 October 1338. Ph DEI GRA FRAnC REX, king enthroned facing within Gothic portico, holding lis-tipped scepter in each hand; at feet, lion seated left. Reverse: + XPC VInCIT XPC REG?AT XPC I?PERAT, cross fleurée over voided short cross; all within quadrilobe with crown in each spandrel.

Purchased privately from Goldberg, 21 February 2012