HENRY II SHIELD – 2oz silver stacker

£92.00

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HENRY II SHIELD – 2oz silver stacker

The Medieval period is one where pageantry and the design of arms and armour had great significance, but it was the advent of the Renaissance that saw it taken to the next level. The great Kings of Europe would compete to be the most magnificent, the various Royal Courts vying to attract the best and the brightest. In France, in 1547, Henry II ascended to the throne, the same year Henry VIII of England died, and he ruled until his death from a jousting accident in 1559, just a year into the rule of Elizabeth I.

Henry liked his pomp and circumstance as much as the next European Monarch, and left behind a simply breathtaking collection of his suits of armour, weapons, and of particular relevance to us today, shields. The most famous of these is simply known as the Shield of Henry II of France, and is, to be frank, a thing of sublime artistic excellence. Formed in steel, embossed and damascened with silver and gold, it’s been attributed to Etienne Delaune, Jean Cousin the Elder, and Baptiste Pellerin, Parisian artists. Delaune left behind quite a body of work that survives today, including prints, and medals

The shield, believed to have been formed in 1555, currently resides, along with at least one of Henry II’s suits of armour, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York. There’s a battle scene in the centre filled with contemporary soldiers, but nevertheless believed to depict the victory of Hannibal Barca and the Carthaginian army over the Romans, in what was one of Rome’s bloodiest defeats, the 216 BCE Battle of Cannae. This was likely meant to represent the contemporary fight between France and the Holy Roman Empire through the 16th century.

Surrounding the battle scene are various elements important to the French monarchy, and it’s all interspersed with gilded tracery and studwork. This isn’t a simple engraved plate, but a living, breathing, three-dimensional work of quite exquisite design, clearly something designed for one of the most powerful men in the known world at the time. Other monarchs, notably Henry VIII of England, and Philip II of Spain, also maintained impressive works of military art.

Source: AgAuNews.com

Presentation

Presented in specifically designed capsules.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION None
COMPOSITION 62.2 grams (2oz) of 0.999 silver
DIMENSIONS 42.5 x 60 mm diameter
FINISH High relief, incused obverse, antiqued
MINTAGE unlimited

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