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French Renaissance rulers

Part 1
Jean II de Bourbon, 1459-1488
Anne de Bretagne, Duchess of Brittany 1498-1514 and Queen consort of France
Louis XII,   King of France 1498-1515
Part 2
Louise of Savoy,   mother of François I ➜
François I,   King of France 1515-1547
The three young sons of King François I
Part 3
Henri II,   King of France 1547-1559

Jean II de Bourbon, Duc de Bourbon et d'Auvergne, ..., seigneur de Dombes 1459-1488
Dombes with its capital Trévoux is located in the NE of Lyon and belonged to the dukes of Bourbon since the 13th century. Jean was the first to coin money in Dombes. The smaller coin types hardly differ from the crown coins, but the gold coins do all the more: Jean was the first to issue a coin with a ruler's portrait in the Renaissance style on French soil - long before French kings came into contact with the Renaissance while campaigning in Italy.

Franc à cheval, n. d., Trévoux.     3,45 g.   Divo Dombes 1, p.56; Friedb.119.
Bust to the left with the chain of orders (connected shells) of the Order of Saint-Michel around his neck.
Dextera Domini Exaltavit Mea = "the right hand of the Lord hath exulted me"
The prince in armor wielding the sword on a prancing horse decorated with lilies.
His successor Pierre II de Bourbon (1488-1503) continued to issue this type of gold coin.

Anne de Bretagne, Duchess of Brittany 1498-1514 and Queen consort of France
on a separate page ➜

Louis XII ,   King of France 1498-1515
- also Lord of Asti 1465-1515, King of Naples 1501-1504, Duke of Milan 1500-1512 -
Louis XII (*1462 †1515) of Valois-Orleans was 8 years older than his cousin King Charles VIII of Valois and of a cadet branch of the dynasty. As his succession to the throne was unlikely, he had not been educated for the task. He became king quite unexpectedly in 1498 when Charles VIII died after hitting his head against a door lintel. Louis's marriage to Jeanne de France had remained without issue. He now asked for an annulment of the marriage, which Pope Alexander VI granted for his own political reasons. Louis married Anne de Bretagne, his predecessor's widow, to ensure that the duchy of Brittany would remain under French sovereignty. Their daughter Claude, heiress to Brittany, would later complete Brittany's integration into France by marrying François I, Louis's cousin and successor to the French throne.
In 1500, Louis's attempt to take over Naples failed when his alliance with Ferdinand the Catholic of Aragón broke up. The ambitious Pope Julius II involved Louis in the Ligue de Cambrai against territory-grabbing Venice, but ousted him again from Milan in 1512 with the help of the Holy League.
While Louis's military campaigns in Italy were not only expensive but also unsuccessful in the long run, he was able to consolidate and strengthen the position of the French crown and to modernise the country. He was given the title "Père du peuple", which he earned by having customary law codified, by introducing fiscal reforms, by improving government procedures, and by reducing taxes. The spread of Humanism picked up during his reign.
Louis was able to assert his hereditary title to the dukedom of Milan in 1499 after a successful campaign under Marshal Trivulzio. However, as he had inherited the domain of Asti from his grandmother Valentina Visconti, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, duke of Milan, he issued coins titling "Duke of Orleans and Milan and Lord of Asti" before actually becoming duke.

Teston, Paris.     Ø ca.29 mm.   Ciani 918/920; Lafaurie 632; Duplessy 660.
Obv.:   +:LVDOVICVS:D:G:FRANCORV:REX:   -   crowned bust
The point at the 18th letter of the legend, a "point secret", indicates Paris as the mint place.

Rev.:  +:XPS:VINCIT:XPS:REGNAT:XPS:ImPeraT:   "Christ wins, Christ reigns, Christ commands."
Crowned coat of arms in polylobe. Less eyecatching: the point secret at the 18th letter (a T) of the legend.

Teston, Tours.     Ø about 29 mm, 9,19 g.   Ciani 918; Lafaurie 632.
Obv.:   +LVDOVICVS:DEI:GR:FRANCORV:REX   -   crowned bust
The point secret placed at the forehead (6th letter of the legend) indicates Tours as the mint.

Rev.:   + XPS:VInCIT:XPS:REGNAT:XPS:ImPerAT♜•   (♜ = tower for mint Tours)
crowned coat of arms in polylobe. Point secret at the 6th letter (a C).
Teston is the French imitation of the Italian Testone (Ital. testa = head). It is the typical large coin of the Renaissance when many Italian sovereigns began promoting their fame by placing portraits to their own likeness on medals and coins. Louis became acquainted with the idea during his stay in Italy. He first minted in Asti, Milan and Naples before issuing the first testone in France.

As king of Naples 1501-1503

Ducat n. d., Naples.     Ø 22 mm, 3,50 g.   Ciani 983; Duplessy 716; Friedb.826.
Obv.:   LVDOvicus⦂FRANcorum◦REGNI◦Que◦NEAPolis◦Rex◦   -   crowned bust with large head.
Rev.:  ✠PERDAM&⦂BABILLONIS◦NOMEN  "I will ruin the name of Babylon"  -  crowned arms of France.

Carlino n. d., Naples.     Ø 25 mm, 3,60 g.   CNI 19 p.265 n.16; Fabrizi 112.
Obv.: LVDOvicus:FRANcorum:Re - GNIQue:NEAPolis·Rex  
Rev.:   EXVLTENT·ET IME·LETENTVR·OmNeS   "everyone is happy and cheers me"

Louis XII as   Lord of Asti (1465-1515)   and as   Duke of Milan (1500-1512)
on separate pages.

Medal n. d. (1501) on the capture of Milan.     Ø 38 mm, 26,62 g.
TNG pl.IV,2; Mazerolle II, p.9 & pl.II, 26.

Obv.:   LVDOVIC'us·XII·FRANCORVm·REX·MEDIOLANI·DVX  -  Bustd with a flap to the left.
Under a crown a hedgehog to the left; below 3 towers (for the city of Tours).
This medal was made on the occasion of the royal visit of the city of Tours in November 1501. The city ordered 60 pieces of this medal from the engraver Michel Colombes and the goldsmith Jean Chapillon.
The French conquest of Milan by Gian Giacomo Trivulzio in 1499/1500 was celebrated on this occasion.

Compare the painting (ca. 1500) in Windsor Castle.

Part 2
Louise of Savoy,   mother of François I ➜
François I,   King of France 1515-1547
The three young sons of King François I
Part 3
Henri II,   King of France 1547-1559

• Duplessy, Jean :  Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793),
    2º édition 1999, vol.1: up to Louis XII; vol.2: since François Ier
• Ciani, Louis :  Les monnaies royales francaises de Hugues Capet a Louis XVI,   Paris 1926
TNGTrésor de Numismatique et de Glyptique ... Médailles françaises depuis le règne de Charles VII,
    Paris 1836 & online
• Hoffmann, H. :  Les monnaies royales de France depuis Hugues Capet jusqu'à Louis XVI,
    Paris 1878 & online
• Mazerolle, Fernand :  Les médailleurs français du 15e siècle au milieu du 17e,   Paris 1902 & online
• Armand, Alfred :  Les médailleurs italiens des quinzième et seizième siècles, 3 vol.   Paris 1883 & online

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