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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 2384. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $450. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ITALY, Papal States. Pius IX. 1846-1878. Lot of seven Medals featuring monuments, mostly AR 44mm annual medals. Lot includes the following: Anno II (1847). G. Girometti, engraver. Capped bust right, wearing stole / Statues of SS. Peter and Paul. Rinaldi 42; Mazzio Supp. 667. Two (2) medals // MDCCCL (1850). AR 46mm Medal. Gius Cerbara, engraver. Capped and robed bust right, wearing stole and holding hand in benediction / Roma surmounting column flanked by Papal flags, wolf and twins at left, lion at right. Rinaldi -; Europese Penningen -; Molinari Collection - // Anno XV (1860). Æ 44mm Medal. I. Bianchi, engraver. San Pietro del Bernini Cathedral. Capped bust left, wearing stole / Pontiffs supporting throne before cloud containing holy dove. Rinaldi 54 var. (Æ); Mazzio Supp. 726 // Anno XX (1865). I. Bianchi, engraver. Capped bust left, wearing stole / Exterior view of St. Lawrence's Basilica; monument on column before. Rinaldi 59; Mazzio Supp. 740 // Anno XXIV (1869), MDCCCLXVII (1867) on reverse. I. Bianchi, engraver. Similar to preceeding / Monument to the casualties of Mentana erected at Campo Verana. Rinaldi 62; Mazzio Supp. 752 // As last, but Æ 44mm. Rinaldi 62 var. (Æ); Mazzio Supp. 752 var. Nice VF-EF, all toned. LOT SOLD AS IS, NO RETURN. Seven (7) medals in lot. ($300)


The Papal States had a centuries-old tradition of disbursing medals to the public, which is continuous, save one or two instances. These medals were coined to commemorate the most notable event of the Pontificial year. Annual medals were distributed on the festival of SS. Peter and Paul, every June 29th.

Many other classifications of Papal medals exist, commemorating special events, anniversaries, holy years, and extraordianary devotions. It is useful to note that many other European nations at various times coined Papal-themed medals to demonstrate their affinity with the Church. Some non-annual medals may be found in these lots, especially those medals issued prior to the 19th Century.

Rinaldi has catalogued the annual medals from 1800 forward, but only focusing on the examples struck in Silver. Most of the medals are known in bronze, or less commonly in gold or other metals. Unfortunately, little about the relative rarity of the individual issues in known, nor how many examples were struck, and trying to compose a census of extant examples would be nearly impossible. Although the exact weights differ somewhat per issue, the annual medals are overall uniform in their presentation, and often the same designer was employed for a long period of time, making them a series of great interest and also with good continuity.