This lovely dolphin appears on a 1 gros silver coin from the province of Dauphiné (located in today's south-east France), dated sometime 1364-80. (There are also two small dolphins on the reverse.)
Spelled out, the inscription reads Karolus Francorum Rex et Dalphinus Viennensis
, which translates to Charles King of the Franks and Dolphin of Vienne
(Vienne being the capital of Dauphiné).
Weight: 2.52 g. Diameter: 24.5 mm.
Once part of the Holy Roman Empire, Dauphiné became associated with France 1349, but still with a considerable amount of independence, including rights to mint its own money. The title of the ruler was dauphin
(dolphin), a title that passed on to the king-to-be and later king of France, Charles V, in 1349. Part of the agreement between Dauphiné and France was that the French crown prince should henceforth be called "dauphin", a custom that was maintained until the end of the monarchy 1792.