Æ 45.5mm by Ferdinand de Saint-Urbain. OLIVAR· D·G· R· P· ANG· SCO· ET· HIB &c PRO his laureate and draped bust left. R. THOMAS· ANIELLO· DE· AMALPHI· his bust left wearing fisherman's cap and jacket. MI vol 1, page 432 No 79 (plate XXXIX No 11†); Eimer 199 Proof-like GEF with most attractive dark red toning.
† MI gives plate XXII in error.
The medal was struck around 1700, in a series celebrating illustrious men. It depicts two men who rose from humble origins to become great leaders, at around the same time.
Masaniello (an abbreviation of Tommaso Aniello; 1622 – 16 July 1647) was an Italian fisherman who became leader of the revolt against the rule of Habsburg Spain in Naples in 1647, brought about by a new tax on fruit and food. The tax was repealed on 13 July but Masaniello was killed by his own party three days later.
The medallist St.Urbain was born in Nancy in 1658, and trained and worked in Germany and Italy as coin engraver before returning to France. He worked at the Nancy mint, and also produced over 120 medals. The Swiss medalllist Johann Karl Hedlinger studied with St Urbain in 1716-17, before becoming chief engraver in Sweden in 1718.
A precisely similar medal was sold by Heritage Auctions, nearly a decade ago, in 7 September, 2011, lot 24864 for 805$. Our price is rather less !
Historical medallions - Oliver Cromwell -
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