Silver medal by Giovanni II Hamerani (diameter 38 mm) View larger
Silver medal by Giovanni II Hamerani (diameter 38 mm)
Hamerani (Giovanni II [Martino]), 1646-1705

Commemorative medal for the mosaic on the Quirinal

Rome, 1698
Silver, extremely fine, virtually as struck. 38 mm diameter.

Obverse Bust to right, a portrait of Antonio Pignatelli, Pope Innocent XII (1691-1700), bearded, wearing cassock, cap, and stole. Around, INNOCEN . XII . PONT . MAX; below truncation, HAMERANUS . Reeded border. Reverse Virgin Mary to front, standing behind a parapet, her right arm around the infant Christ who stands to front on parapet, his right hand raised in benediction Around, SVB TVVM PRÆSIDIVM, the Pignatelli insignia and date 1699 centred beneath. Reeded border.

A superb original striking in silver. This medal commemorates Giuseppe Conti’s “Virgin and Child” mosaic in the clock tower of the papal palace on the Quirinal, begun by Conti during the summer of 1697 and completed on 28 June 1698. The design of the mosaic is derived from a bozzetto in oils by Carlo Maratti (Musei Vaticani, Inv. 40397); an engraving published in 1698 to commemorate completion of the mosaic may have been Hamerani’s model.

Subjects
Medals - Artists, Italian - Hamerani (Giovanni II, "Martino"), 1646-1705
Medals, Papal
Mosaics, Baroque
Authors/Creators
Hamerani, Giovanni II (Martino), 1646-1705
Artists/Illustrators
Conti, Giuseppe, active 17th-18th centuries
Hamerani, Giovanni II (Martino), 1646-1705
Maratti, Carlo, 1625-1713
Owners
Hall, Michael, born 1926
Other names
Innocent XII, Pope, 1615-1700

Hamerani, Giovanni ii (Martino)
Rome 1646 – 1705 Rome

Commemorative medal for the mosaic on the Quirinal

Rome circa 1698

silver, extremely fine, virtually as struck. 38 mm diameter

Obverse Bust to right, a portrait of Antonio Pignatelli, Pope Innocent xii (1691–1700), bearded, wearing cassock, cap, and stole. Around, innocen. xii. pont. max; below truncation, hameranus. Reeded border

Reverse Virgin Mary to front, standing behind a parapet, her right arm around the infant Christ who stands to front on parapet, his right hand raised in benediction. Around, svb tvvm præsidivm, the Pignatelli insignia and date 1699 centred beneath. Reeded border

provenance Michael Hall (1926–) — sale Baldwin’s, ‘Auction 66: The Michael Hall Collection: Medallic portraits from the Renaissance to the Nineteenth Century (Part Two)’, London, 29 June 2010, lot 1209

Reduced from Ø 38mm

A superb original striking in silver. This medal commemorates Giuseppe Conti’s ‘Virgin and Child’ mosaic in the clock tower of the papal palace on the Quirinal, begun by Conti during the summer of 1697 and completed on 28 June 1698. The design of the mosaic is derived from a bozzetto in oils by Carlo Maratti (Musei Vaticani, Inv. 40397).1

The medallist Giovanni ii Hamerani is the most gifted artist of the large family of medallists, gold­smiths, and seal engravers, which dominated papal coin and medal production for nearly two centuries. In 1676 he had replaced Girolamo Lucenti as engraver at the papal mint and in 1678 he became the chief medallist employed at the papal court. A large group of his wax models was acquired recently by the British Museum, including the models for the present medal (obverse and reverse).2 An engraving published in 1698 to commemorate completion of the mosaic may have been Hamerani’s model (see Fig. 1).3

Altogether, about eighty-five medals are believed to have been issued during the pontificate of Innocent xii (12 July 1691–27 September 1700).4 It was customary for the Pope to issue each year on 29 June (the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul) an ‘annual medal’ commemorating what the papacy viewed as the single most important event of the year. ‘Special medals’ were issued to commemorate unique or unscheduled events, such as the construction of new buildings, canonisations, and papal excursions; a further series commemorated recurring events, such as the possessio (the pope’s taking possession of the cathedral of the Lateran as bishop of Rome), lavanda dei piedi (the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday), and the opening and closing of the Holy Door during Jubilee years.

Details about each commission are generally found in the papal account books, or ‘Mandati camerali’, preserved in the Archivio di Stato di Roma. The documents relating to the nine annuali issued by Innocent xii, published by Franco Bartolotti, indicate that each edition comprised approximately 120 gold, 230 silver, and an unspecified number of bronze medals (perhaps as many as 1000).5 Although the papal account books have yet to be investigated for the ‘special medals’ issued by Innocent xii, the fact that examples struck in gold are now unknown suggests that they were rarely – if ever – issued. Most likely, a larger quantity of silver medals was struck, of which some were gilded with gold.

Comparative illustration
Fig. 1 Engraving by Van Westerhout after Carlo Maratti (Rijksmuseum,
RP-P-OB-61.172)

Four examples of the present medal in gilded silver were presented to Maratti by Cardinal Gian Francesco Albani (the future Pope Clement xi).6

Examples known to the writer include

● Bologna, Museo Civico Archeologico, Inv. 6584 (silver, 38.5 mm) ● London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals (bronze, 37.8 mm) ● Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Gabinetto Numismatico, Inv. 2271 (silver, 39 mm, 26.73 g) ● Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Inv. 5717bß (silver, 38.6 mm, 23.5 g) ● Weimar, Goethe-Nationalmuseum (bronze, 38 mm)7

The reverse was restruck in 1700 conjoined with an image of the Pope opening the Porta Santa.8 Two versions of the reverse were later made by Giovanni’s son, Ermenegildo Hamerani (1683–1756), who in 1704 succeeded his father as engraver at the papal mint.9

references Ridolfino Venuti, Numismata Romanorum Pontificum præstantiora, à Martino v. ad Benedictum xiv (Rome 1744), p.325 no. xxv; Francesco Mazio, Serie dei conj di medaglie pontificie da Martino v fino a tutto il pontificato… di Pio vii (Roma 1824), p.106 no. 374; W.S. Lincoln & Son, A Descriptive catalogue of papal medals (London 1890), p.83 nos. 1572–1573 (bronze, silver); Edoardo Martinori, Annali della Zecca di Roma [Serie Papali, fasc. xvi–xvii (1669–1700)] (Rome 1920), no. 82; Giulio Berni, Le medaglie degli Anni Santi (Barcelona 1950), p.91 no. 192; Walter Miselli, Il papato dal 1669 al 1700 attraverso le medaglie (Pavia 2001), p.319 no. 330

1. The painting (292 × 205 mm) was executed by Maratti in 1693–1695; see Arnold Nesselrath and Francesco Colalucci, in Barock im Vatikan: Kunst und Kultur im Rom der Päpste 1572–1676, catalogue of the exhibition held at the Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, 25 November 2005–19 March 2006 (Leipzig 2005), pp.360–362 no. 217.

2. Jack Hinton, ‘Forming designs, shaping medals: a collection of wax models by the Hamerani’ in The Medal 41 (2002), p.17 no. 19 (portrait obverse, used for the seventh annual medal of Innocent xii, 1698) and no. 21 (reverse, first used for this medal). See also Teresa Aymamí Aymemí, ‘Aproximación al estudio de las medallas devocionales Hamerani de los siglos xviixviii’ in Gaceta numismática 187 (2014), pp.15–40 (p.23).

3. The engraving (367 × 249 mm) is lettered with a dedication to Pope Innocent xii by Giuseppe Conti and subscribed: Carolus Maratti pinxit | Arnoldus Van Westerhout Antuerp. Ferd. Mag. Princ. Etruriae Sculptor fecit Romae 1698; see Didier Bodart, L’œuvre du graveur Arnold van Westerhout, 1651–1725: essai de catalogue raisonné (Brussels 1976), p.19 no. 7. The print was also utilised for ceramic decoration; see Catherine Hess, Maiolica in the making: The Gentili / Barnabei Archive (Los Angeles 1999), pp.102, 133–134.

4. Miselli (op. cit.), pp.277–349 (the existence of some of these may be doubted).

5. Franco Bartolotti, La medaglia annuale dei romani Ponte­fici da Paolo v a Paolo vi, 1605–1967 (Rimini 1967), pp.101–110. The editions range in size from 106 to 112 gold medals, and 223 to 243 silver medals. Cf. Marica Mercalli, ‘Le Medaglie del pontificato di Innocenzo xii’ in Le Immagini del Santissimo Salvatore: Fabbriche e sculture per l’Ospizio Apostolico dei Poveri Invalidi, catalogue of an exhibition, Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, 16 December–5 February 1989 (Rome 1988), pp.45–58 (exhibiting 23 medals).

6. The medals are listed in an inventory of Maratti’s possessions taken 8 April 1712; see David L. Bershad, ‘The newly discovered testament and inventories of Carlo Maratti and his wife Francesca’ in Antologia di belle arti, new series, 25–26 (1985), p.75: ‘Quattro medaglie d’argento dorate trà l’altre al detto Sig.re Cav.re del med.o Papa quando era Card.le. In dette medaglie vi è il Ritratto d’Innocenzo xii all’ora regnante con il roverso della Madonna, che stà nel cortile di Monte Cavallo fatta di mosaico, quale pittura fù fatta dal d.o Sig. Cav.re Maratti’.

7. Jochen Klauß, Die Medaillensammlung Goethes (Berlin 2000), p.167 no. 586.

8. Martinori (op. cit.), no. 83; Berni (op. cit.), p.90 no. 190; Miselli (op. cit.), p.327 no. 340.

9. One version, issued as the seventeenth annual medal of Clement xi’s pontificate, in 1717, is lettered around virgo potens ora pro nobis; for reproductions, see Franco Bartolotti, La medaglia annuale dei romani Ponte­fici da Paolo v a Paolo vi, 1605–1967 (Rimini 1967), p.128 no. E-717; and Walter Miselli, Il Papato dal 1700 al 1730 attraverso le medaglie (Turin 1997), p.108 no. 108. The other version is lettered around tv es specvlvm sine macula and is signed in the esergue herm hameranvs; see Servus Gieben, ‘Un campionario di 630 medaglie di devozione della bottega Hamerani’ in Collectanea Franciscana 76 (2006), pp.254, 280, 292 no. 620.

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