Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


SELVI, Antonio: Italy, ca. 1740, Bronze (cast), 85 mm
Bust of Cosimo I (r) wearing the order of the Golden Fleece from a chain around his neck COSIMVS. I. D.G. MAGN.DVX. ETRVR.
The constellation Capricorn with seven stars above. FIDEM. FATI. VIRTVTE. SEQVEMVR
Signed: F. SELVI
Ref: Vannel and Toderi 211/290;  Weiss BW810

Cosimo I de' Medici (15191574) was born in Florence, the son of Giovanni dalle Bande Nere and Maria Salviati. Cosimo came to power as Duke of Florence at the age of 17, when the current duke, Alessandro de' Medici, was assassinated. With this position he continued the long rule of Medici political dynasty, the de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance of Florence, beginning with Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici (1389 - 1464) and not ending until the death of the last of the Medici, Gian Gastone de' Medici, in 1737.

During his reign, Cosimo established the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.

In 1539, Cosimo married Eleonora di Toledo, who, like Cosimo was a patron of the arts and, as Duchess of Florence, in 1549 purchased the Palazzo Pitti for the Medici family. Eleonora bore Cosimo eleven children; the eldest son, Francesco, succeeded Cosimo as Grand Duke of Tuscany and Fernando, who succeeded Francesco as Grand Duke.

LINK to Biography of Cosimo I de'Medici (from Britannica.com)

LINK to Biography and Portrait of Cosimo I de'Medici (from wikipedia)

LINK to Portrait of Cosimo I de'Medici as Orpheus by Agnolo Bronzino (from Philadelphia Museum of Art)