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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 25. Estimate CHF10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF12000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Italy, Papal States. Rome. Paul III. 1534-1549. Medal (Silver, 39mm, 30.44 g 6), on the renewal of the city for the Holy Year of 1550. Unsigned but attributed to A. Cesati (d. after 1564), or possibly to Federico Bonzagna (c.1507-1588), undated but 1550. PAVLVS III PONT MAX AN XVI Bare-headed bust of Paul III to right, wearing elaborate robes showing a scene of the breaking of the Holy Door, and with a large medal showing the Pope enthroned hanging from his neck. Rev. ALMA ROMA View of the city of Rome with its many palaces and churches, and with the Tiber running through it. Attwood p. 380, 71. Modesti, Corpus Numismatum Omnium Romanorum Pontificum II, Rome 2003, 348. Extremely rare and most important, with a wonderful view of Rome. Toned. About extremely fine.

This medal was ordered to be produced to commemorate the renovation of Rome in time for the Holy Year of 1550. After the sack of the city by the Imperial Army in 1527, little had been done to repair the damage under Clement VII, Paul III’s predecessor. When Paul III (Alessandro Farnese, 1468-1549) came to the throne he worked with great energy to rebuild and restore the city, not only expanding the great Palazzo Farnese (now the French embassy) but employing a number of the greatest artists and architects of the time to embellish the city: including Antonio da Sangallo, Michelangelo and Giacomo della Porta. The pope died of sickness aggravated by the assassination of his son Pier Luigi in 1547 and by the rebellion of his grandson Ottavio Farnese in 1549.