Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


Guglielmada, Giovanni Battista: Sweden, ca. 1680, Bronze, 41 mm
Bust of Christina (r) with pearls holding hair and pendant around neck REGINA CHRISTINA
Rev: Radiating sun with face NEC FALSO NEC ALIENO (Neither False Nor Borrowed)
Signed: G F (in ringlets of hair)
Ref: Hildebrand 309/99; Molinari 37/106;  De Bildt, pp. 61-63, figs. 33-34, p. 139, no. 23;  Weiss BW546

Christina Alexandra (1626-1689), sometimes called Countess Dohna Christina, was the daughter of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, the leader of the Protestants during the Thirty-Years War. She became Queen regent of Sweden in 1632 on the death of her father at the Battle of Lutzen and remained queen until 1654. Christina was raised a Protestant but secretly converted to Catholicism. This, along with other reasons, caused her to abdicate her Swedish crown and move to Rome.

While in Rome Christina spoke out prominently advocating tolerance toward other religions. When Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes, abolishing the rights of French Protestants (Huguenots), Christina wrote an indignant letter to the French ambassador. This earned her a strong rebuke from Louis but she was not to be cowed into silence. Christina also advocated tolerance toward the Jews, making Pope Clement X prohibit the custom of chasing Jews through the streets during the carnival. Going even further, in 1686, she issued a declaration that Roman Jews were under her protection, signed la Regina - the queen.

In 1679, still while in Rome, Christina proposed to commission a series of 118 medals which would record her life. This series was to rival the Histoire Metallique of Louis XIV of France. The sun was used by both Christina and Louis XIV as a personal symbol, but on her medals Christina attempted to outdo the emblematic sun used by the king.

Other medals and additional information about Queen Christina of Sweden can be found in this section of Italian Baroque Medals

LINK to Biography and Portrait of Christina (from wikipedia)