Kingdom of France, Henry II, Teston


Kingdom of France, Henry II, Teston (obverse) Kingdom of France, Henry II, Teston (reverse)

The French King Henry II (1547-1559) got involved in the coinage of his realm more than most of his fellow kings. In 1551, he had a screw press installed in the Paris mint, a minting machine that had been used for coinage the very first time in Augsburg, the year before. King Henry not only looked after the technical side of coinage, but also cared for the artistic aspect. As chief engraver of the Paris mint he engaged Marc Béchot, an artist educated in Italy, who is considered one of the best Renaissance artists of France. Béchot created this teston depicting the bust of Henry in the fashion of an ancient Roman emperor. The letter A on the reverse denotes that the coin was struck in Paris.


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