Gold pavillon of Edward the Black Prince, as Prince of Aquitaine

Minted in Aquitaine (modern France), AD 1362-72

The Black Prince's golden hour

During the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) King Edward III of England, and his son Edward the Black Prince, issued a series of spectacular gold coins in their inherited duchy of Aquitaine.

Previous Aquitanian coinage had been made of silver, but, since Edward III was pressing his claim to the throne of France, he challenged the French king's monopoly of gold issues with these coins, which named himself as king of France. In 1362 Edward III invested his son with the rule of Aquitaine. The gold pavillon was to be his most common gold issue: a magnificent one, large and intricately designed. The Latin inscription names the prince as first-born son of the king of England (P[RIM]OG[E]N[ITUS] REG[IS] ANGL[IE]) and prince of Aquitane.

The coin's name arises from the image of the prince standing beneath a Gothic portico, or canopy. He holds a sword in one hand, and points at it with the other, while two heraldic English leopards rest at his feet. In the background are four ostrich feathers, formerly the emblem of King John the Blind of Bohemia, and reputedly adopted by the Black Prince after John's heroic death fighting for the French at the Battle of Crécy.

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More information


E.R Duncan Elias, The Anglo-Gallic coins (London, A. H. Baldwin, 1984)

P. Grierson, Coins of Medieval Europe (London, Seaby, 1991)


Museum number

CM 1935-4-1-6560


Bequeathed by T.B. Clarke-Thornhill


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