102115 | SCOTLAND & FRANCE. François & Mary silver Jeton or Pattern Testoon.
102115 | SCOTLAND & FRANCE. François & Mary silver Jeton or Pattern Testoon. Dated 1553 (though the couple wouldn't be married until 1558) (28mm, 3.71 g, 10h). By N. Emery, likely in Paris.
DILIGITE IVSTICIAM 1553, crowned FM (for François & Mary) monogram; sunburst to left and right / DELICTE DNI COR HVMILE, crowned coat-of-arms.
MI 65/5; Burns vol. II, pp. 344-346 & pl. LXVI (fig. 916); Forrer II, pp. 15-16 (this type mentioned and illustrated); National Museum of Edinburgh 248; Lucien LaRiviere Coll. 285 = Marian Sinton Coll. 1683 = Robert William Cochran-Patrick Coll. 18 = London Coins 126, lot 559; Dundee Coll. –; McDonald Coll. –; Loch Ness Coll. –; NY Sale XXXII, lot 355 (which realized a total of $1,872 in January 2014). NGC EF-45. Lightly toned and fairly well struck for the type. For cert verification, please follow this link. An extremely rare and historically important type missing from most advanced Scottish collections. Apart from the specimen here, only two other examples of the type have been observed to have sold over the past two decades, the more recent being the specimen in the 2014 NY Sale.
Mary was just six days old when her father, King James V of Scotland, died, leaving her as an infant queen. During her minority, the realm was administered by regents, with King Henri II of France proposing an alliance between France and Scotland through an eventual marriage of Mary to his son and heir, François. Given the enmity at that time with England for both France and Scotland, such an arrangement made sense, and Mary was sent to France for safety and upbringing in 1548. According to French tradition, when Mary was deemed to have come of age, she was able to formally ratify her marriage contract to François. This occurred in December 1553, though the wedding itself would not occur until 1558. In the meantime, it is likely that this jeton, as well as the similar type (MI 66/6), sometimes referred to in the past as "pattern testoons" on account of their similarities to actual Scottish coinage of the time, was intended for usage within the royal household up until the marriage took place. Sadly for Mary, this marriage would be very short-lived, as François died just two years later. Mary would marry two other times before her forced abdication and then eventual execution under the orders of her first cousin once removed, Queen Elizabeth I of England. Incorrectly attributed on the holder as MI 66/6, as it is actually MI 65/5.
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