ANGLO-GALLIC. Henry VI.
1422-1461. AV Salut d’or (27mm, 3.47 g, 4h). Saint-Lô mint; im: lis. Arnoulet Rame, mintmaster. Second issue, struck 1423-1449. ҺЄИRICVS : DЄI : GRA : FRACORVm : Z : AGLIЄ : RЄX, the Annunciation: the Virgin, standing facing, receiving tablet inscribed AVЄ from the Archangel Gabriel standing left; heavenly light above, two coats-of-arms below; pellet under the final Є / XPC · VIИCIT · XPC · RЄGИAT · XPC · ImPЄRAT (mullet stops), Latin cross; lis to left, lion passant to right, and Һ below; all within polylobe, with inward-facing lis in each point; pellet under the final R. Elias 271d; cf. Poey d'Avant 3184; Schneider 124; Friedberg 18 and 301 (France). Superb EF. Exceptional strike.
The only son and heir of Henry V and Catherine de Valois, and the grandson and heir of Charles VI of France, Henry VI was a person in whom many great expectations were invested, but who, because of his age and mental ill-health, not only precipitated the onset of the so-called “Wars of the Roses”, but also reinvigorated French confidence in the Hundred Years War through English mismanagement and the appearance of Jeanne d’Arc.
Henry VI became king in 1422 with the sudden death of his father, a baby of only nine months. During the king’s minority, a tripartite regency was established, made up of the king’s uncles. By 1424, however, factionalism between the regents began to arise, so that by 1429 when Henry VI achieved his majority, many of the successes of Henry V in France were lost. During the first four years the reign of Henry VI, the salut d’or in the name of the young king was minted in the Gascon territory still under English control. The medieval religious imagery is readily apparent with the use of the Annunciation on the obverse and the lis and leopard passant, symbols of France and England respectively, flanking the cross on the reverse. The obverse is particularly apropos, since like the birth of the Divine Savior who would bring peace to a weary world, the son of the King of England and the daughter of the King of France would bring together the war-weary French and English nations.