Obverse Bust to right, a portrait of Antonio Pignatelli, Pope Innocent XII (1691-1700), bearded, wearing cassock, cap, and stole ornamented with cross and Pignatelli insignia. Around, INNOCEN . XII PONT . OPT . MAX . A . III; below truncation, in a flamboyant script BEATRIX . HAMERANA. Reeded border. Reverse A pelican standing on a pedestal adorned by papal insignia and date 1694, tearing its breast to feed other birds with its blood, a vast rocky landscape behind, and another flock of pelicans in the sky. Around, SINVM . SVVM . APERVIT . EGENIS, and on a pedestal, 1694. Reeded border.
The only silver example known of this cast medal, depicting on its obverse the 76-year old Pope Innocent XII, and on the reverse, a pelican reviving her chicks with her own blood, the traditional depiction of Christian charity. The medal was created by Beatrice Hamerani, the youngest person (she was not yet seventeen years of age) and for three centuries the only woman to have produced a papal medal. Goethe possessed an example in bronze, which his artistic advisor, Johann Heinrich Meyer (1760-1832), famously described as “undoubtedly one of the most skilful, expressive, and powerful productions of art which ever came from the hands of a woman”.