The field is as complex as the French royal and seigneurial coinages, with many extraordinary and interesting parts. One of them I have tried to reveal in my last entry here about Albrecht van Beieren (Albert of Bavaria) as Ruwaard and then Lord of Hainaut during one of the most economically lucrative periods in the history of the Netherlands. This entry is focused on an earlier period, marked in part by the legacy of a great (or infamous) crusader lord Baudouin IX de Flandre (VI de Hainaut), better known as Baldwin of Flanders, the first Latin Emperor of Constantinople (1204-1205). Baudouin had two daughters, who both succeeded him in the Netherlands, while his brother Henry succeeded him in Constantinople. Jeanne ruled Flanders and Hainaut between 1205 and 1244 and Marguerite ruled the same realms between 1244 and 1280. Marguerite took the domains of Flanders and Hainaut at the death of her older sister Jeanne in 1244. As the daughter of Baudouin, she was reffered to as "de Constantinople" following her father's titulature. Her reign was marked by the War of Succession of Hainaut and Flanders, between her sons of her two marriages -- first with Bouchard d'Avesnes (until 1221) and then to Guillaume II de Dampierre (who died in 1231) -- arbitrated by Louis IX of France in 1246 and 1256 and which eventually ended with the separation of the counties, the Avesnes faction getting Hainaut while the Dampierre faction got Flanders. Her rule also saw a greater autonomy and rise in power of the Flemish urban centers and a strong development of international trade, specifically with France, Castile, Gascony and England, which came also with one of the first trade wars between Flanders and England between 1270 and 1275. AR25mm 1.90g billon double esterlin (baudekin), minted at the city of Valenciennes, after January 1269. + mOnЄTA - VALЄnC - ЄnЄnSIS; knight on horseback galloping to left, brandishing sword in right hand. + mARGARЄTA ' C0mITISSA ' on the outside; + * SIGNVM CRVCIS; on the inside; cross with crescents in each quarter. Chalon 19, Lucas - Hainaut 36, Boudeau 2086 from an old collection in Normandie In this context, her new coinage, the baudekin (or double esterlin) served the development and diversification of Flanders in particular, with support from Hainaut silver. The large denomination of Hainaut begins with the baudekins au chevalier a l'epee, with a knight in tournament attire galloping to left and brandishing a distinctly mid 13th century sword, and was possibly inspired by the french gros tournois of Louis IX. It first appeared in January 1269 (January 16 according to Grierson BCEN 12, 1975 pp. 7-8) and this particular specimen is one of the first of the first type minted in 1269 and is rare as such. Soon after, this design with a left-galloping knight in full tournament regalia was replaced with a new design... of a knight in full tournament regalia but galloping... right. The die cutters were feeling rather adventurous in 1270. AR24mm 2.34g billon double esterlin (baudekin), minted at the city of Valenciennes, cca. 1270s. + ' m0NЄTA VAL[ЄNCЄ] - ' NЄNSIS; knight on horseback galloping to right, brandishing sword in right hand. + mARGARЄTA ' C0mITISSA ' on the outside; + * SIGNVM * CRVCIS *; on the inside; cross with crescents in each quarter. Chalon 13, Lucas - Hainaut 39, Boudeau 2087 from a different collection in Normandie The sword was also changed a bit, the new series showing the knight brandishing a sword more up to date, similar to Oakeshott type XIV, a sword shape that saw serious action during the Eighth Crusade in Tunis. The Oakeshott classification of European medieval swords. The new coins were a success and they continued to be minted throughout the 1270s. It is likely that they were still in circulation in the early 1300s during the French-Flemish Wars of Philippe IV. Marguerite remained in history as "la Noire" for her cruelty and supposed lack of morals. She was likely a very disruptive factor in the lives of her children from her two marriages and her influence was possibly one of the catalysts for the ongoing feud between the Dampierre and Avesnes branches of the House of Flanders. The bad blood continued even after the arbitration by Louis IX of France who gave Guillaume de Dampierre the County of Flanders and left Hainaut to Jean d'Avesnes, a conflict to which Marguerite was no stranger, taking the side of Guillaume against Jean. The wars and intrigues saw many knights perish, which is why the chronicler Matthew Paris popularized her image as a vicious mother and ruler.