The expulsion of the English from France, the “Calaisienne Medal”, French struck silver medal, 1454-55, a shield bearing the arms of France, surmounted by an open royal crown, branches of roses either side, legend in three concentric circles around, GLORIA : PAX : TIBI : SIT : REX : KAROLE : LAVS : Q3 : PERhENIUS : REGNUM : FRANCORUM / TANTO : DISCRIMINE : LABENS : hOSTILI : RABIE : VICTA : VIRTUTE / REFORMANS : XPI : CONSILIO : LEGIS : ET : AUXILIO :, rev., cross with lis points within quadralobe, crowns in inner angles, cinquefoils in outer, legend around in three concentric circles, hORA : NOVIA : DOMINVS IhS : EXPIRAVIT : hELI : CLAMANS : ADIMAM / MENDAVIT : LATVS : EIVS : LANCEA : MIIIES : DEREORAVIT TERRA TVA / CONTREMVIT : ET : SOLI : OBSCVRAVIT : ADORAMVS : TERPE, 56.5mm, 17.22g (cf MI 14/4, obverse; Maz. 3; cf BMC [Jones] 8, obverse; 10 & 11; V de V 3; Trésor 1, 2, rev.; Wilson-Smith, this piece illustrated).
Very fine and excessively rare on the open market
This is one of a group of several varieties of somewhat similar medals, struck by Charles VII of France (1403-1422-1461), following his success in the expulsion of the English from all of France with the exception of the northern port of Calais and the Channel Islands. As medals they follow no precedent and their style eminates from the coinage of the period. As Jones writes, they “must be reckoned among the largest and finest pieces produced by a medieval mint”. Other specimens are recorded, all in Museum collections:- Biblioteque Nationale, Paris, Silver and Gilt-silver; Bronze (2 – these perhaps c. 1830); Musée des Monnaies, Paris, Bronze (c. 1830); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Silver (ex. R. Falkiner, 1983).
Provenance: Peus Auction, 29 April, 2000 (lot 617); ex. Private Collection, Bremen. It is possible that this is the L’Abbé Barthélemy specimen [Jean-Jacques Barthélemy (1716-1795), from 1753 Keeper of the Royal Collection of Medals], Ch. Lorrimer (Rouen) Collection, Raymond Serrure, Paris, Auction, 10 December, 1900; Collection Babut, Etienne Bourgey, Paris, Auction, 5 December, 1927.