This is a medieval gold Ecu of King Philip VI of France, who reigned between 1328 - 1350 A.D. The coin depicts the crowned king seated in a Gothic stall, holding a sword in his right hand, leaning left hand on shield. Reverse of the coin depicts a quadrilateral cross fleury, in a quatrefoil decorated with leaves and four-leaf clovers. This coin of the first emission, struck from January 1337 - April 1343.
The Hundred Years War began during Philip’s reign in 1337. Philip seized Aquitaine from the English, claiming that King Edward III of England had forfeited the territory for rebellion and disobedience. Philip’s position had merit. One of his trusted advisors, Robert III of Artois, had commited forgery attempting to procure an inheritance. Philip tried to capture Robert, who fled to England and was granted refuge by Edward. Philip then took Aquitaine, and Edward then invaded France to get the territory back. In 1340 Philip lost the Battle of Sluys to the English Fleet, by 1348 the Royal French army was annihilated at Battle of Crecy.
After the defeat at Crécy and loss of Calais, the Estates of France refused to raise money for Philip, halting his plans to counter-attack by invading England. In 1348 the Black Death struck France and in the next few years killed one-third of the population, including Queen Joan. The resulting labour shortage caused inflation to soar, and the king attempted to fix prices, further de-stabilising the country. His second marriage to his son's betrothed Blanche of Navarre alienated his son and many nobles from the king.
This coin is a mute witness to such times, the beginning of the Hundred Years War and the reign of King Philip VI. A nice example with clear detail and in circulated condition.
DENOMINATION: Ecu d'or à la chaise, 1ère émission
CULTURE: Medieval France
DATE: 1337 - 1343 A.D.
SIZE: 28mm dia
WEIGHT: 4.5 grams
ATTRIBUTION: Fr-270, Ciani 283 , Dupl-249
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