Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


ORTOLANI, Giuseppi: Italy/Turkey, ca.1720, Bronze, 73 mm
Obv: Bust of Ottoboni (r) wearing lace cravat and long wig ANTONIVS OTTHOBON (VS). CAP (ITANEVS). GEN (ERALIS). S (ANCTAE): R (OMANAE): E (CCLESIAE):
The Apotheosis of the General: the Roman Wolf and the Venetian Lion pulling a celestial chariot carrying Religion and guided by Precaution and Value, all above a land and sea-scape. The enemies are being crushed beneath the wheels of the chariot. CIVITATES IMPIORVM DESTRVET D(OMI)N(V)S. ET LATOS FACIET. TERM(IN)OS FIDEI
Extremely Rare
Ref: See Johnson p. 200, fig. 208; Vannel and Toderi p. 28, fig. 19; Forrer IV p. 332; Europese Penningen # 1400; Voltolina 1084; Serenissma II, 133; Toderi [1990] 56; Rizzini II, p. 142, 968;  Weiss BW183

Antonio Ottoboni (1646-1720), a nephew of Pope Alexander VIII, was appointed Captain General of the army of the Papal States (Generale di Santa Chiesa) in 1689. The medal celebrates the victories of the pope and of the Republic of Venice against the Turks led by Ottoboni when he was Papal General.

Ottoboni was ‘Cavagliere et Procuratore di San Marco’, a man of music, letters and a poet. He married Maria Moretti; their son Pietro (1667-1740) became a Cardinal.

The medal appears to have been struck on a cast flan, perhaps around 1720, unusual for its time as most were cast during this period. Although Voltolina and Serenissma both date the medal to 1689, the reverse design (and the fact that the medallist would have been only about 15 years old) suggest that the date of the medal is about 1720.