(sold for $111.0)


1780, Royal France, Louis XVI.  Silver "Order & Militia of the Holy Spirit" Medal. XF-AU!

Mint Year: ca. 1780 Reference: Feu. 1631. Condition: A beautifully toned XF-AU! Denomination: Octagonal Medal - Order and militia of the Holy Spirit. Weight: 16.95gm Diameter: 36mm Material: Silver

Obverse: Draped bust of  of Louis XVI right, wearing the Order of the Holy Spirit on a large chain, which goes around his shoulders. Legend: LUD . XVI . REX . CHRISTIANISS .   Reverse: Illuminated Holy Spirit within order chain of the Order. Legend: ORDERE ET MILICE DU SAINT ESPRIT Translated: "Order and militia of the Holy Spirit."

The Order of the Holy Spirit (French: Ordre du Saint-Esprit; sometimes translated into English as the Order of the Holy Ghost), is a French order of chivalry founded by Henry III of France in 1578. Today, it is a dynastic order under the House of France. It should not be confused with the Congregation of the Holy Ghost or with the religious Order of the Holy Ghost. It was the senior chivalric order of France by precedence, although not by age, since the Order of Saint Michael was established more than a century earlier. Although officially abolished by the government authorities in 1830 following the July Revolution, its activities carried on. It is still recognised by the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry.

Prior to the creation of the Order of the Holy Spirit in 1578 by King Henri III, the senior order of chivalry in France had been the Order of Saint Michael. This order was originally created in 1469 to rival the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece, and to help ensure that leading French nobles remained loyal to the Crown. Its membership was initially restricted to a small number of powerful princes and nobles, but this increased dramatically due to the pressures of the Wars of Religion.

At the beginning of the reign of Henry III, the Order of Saint Michael had several hundred living members, ranging from kings to bourgeois. Recognising that the order had been significantly devalued, Henry III founded the Order of the Holy Spirit on December 31, 1578, thereby creating a two-tier system: the new order would be reserved for princes and powerful nobles, whilst the Order of Saint Michael would be for less eminent servants of the Crown. The new order was dedicated to the Holy Spirit to commemorate the fact that Henry III was elected as King of Poland (1573) and inherited the throne of France (1574) on two Pentecosts.

Louis XVI or Louis-Auguste de France (Versailles, 23 August 1754 – Paris, 21 January 1793) ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1793. Suspended and arrested during the Insurrection of 10 August, he was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793. He was the only king of France to be executed.

Although Louis was beloved at first, his indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to eventually view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime. After the abolition of the monarchy in 1793, the new republican government gave him the surname Capet, a reference to the nickname of Hugh Capet, founder of the Capetian dynasty, which the revolutionaries wrongly interpreted as a family name. He was also informally nicknamed Louis le Dernier (Louis the Last), a derisive use of the traditional nicknaming of French kings. Today, historians and French people in general have a more nuanced view of Louis XVI, who is seen as an honest man with good intentions, but who was probably unfit for the herculean task of reforming the monarchy, and who was used as a scapegoat by the revolutionaries.

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This coin has been sold for   $111.0

Notes: https://www.ebay.com/itm/154276977768 2021-01-11

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