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eMedals-Vatican. An Order of Pope Pius IX, Grand Cross Case, c.1900

Item: EU16783

Vatican. An Order of Pope Pius IX, Grand Cross Case, c.1900



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Vatican. An Order of Pope Pius IX, Grand Cross Case, c.1900

(Ordo Pianus or Ordine Piano). Instituted in 1847. Hardshelled design on both the lid and base, wooden-framed, with distinctive rounded corners, the exterior with a red leather covering on five sides, and a red pebbled paper bottom, the lid bearing the embossed Papal coat-of-arms of Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) in the centre, the arms containing a pine tree within a large oval fronted by an arched band, a radiant star at the upper left, in addition to fleur-de-lis at the lower left and right, within an open-ended wreath of oak leaves and laurel leaves with three tassels, the arms surmounted by the Papal tiara, the oval in steel blue embroidery with the star and fleur-de-lis in black, the arms framed by a thin rule in gold-coloured ink on the perimeter and housing ornate leafing in all four corners, inside lid lined in white satin, padded and maker marked "Ao TANFANI CUSTODE DE'SS. TRIREGNI GIOJELLIERE DI S. SANTITA ROMA" and surmounted by the Papal coat-of-arms of Pope Leo XIII, the lining exhibiting the impression of the raised dividers from the medal beds, the base housing a two-piece raised platform in yellowish felt with two raised dividers embedded into the platform framing the medal beds, a circular divider for the Badge along with an ornately-shaped divider and slotted medal bed for the Breast Star, the platform for the Badge with a white silk pull tab that allows it to left up independent of the platform for the Breast Star to access the sash, measuring 135 mm (w) x 277 mm (h) x 83 mm (d), wear and soiling evident on the exterior, wear in the fabric overlying the hinged area, along with soiling of the medal bed on the interior, the push release having been lost to time but the brass tab remains intact and the case is able to open with a little extra care, fine.


Footnote: The Order of Pope Pius IX also referred as the Order of PIus, is a papal order of knighthood founded on June 17, 1847 by Pope Pius IX. Since November 1993, it has been granted to women. Although the Order was founded by Pope Pius IV in 1560, the awarding of the order fell into disuse and was re-instituted by Pope Pius IX as a continuation in 1847. It is awarded for personal services to the Pope and the Papacy. The highest rank awarded by the Pope is the gold Collar of the Order, awarded to heads of state on the occasion of official visits to the Holy See. The Grand Cross is the highest Papal award given to lay men and women, often given to Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See after two years in post as well as exceptional Catholics in the wider world for particular services, mainly in the international field and for outstanding deeds for Church and society. The next rank is that of Knight (and now Dame) Commander, to whom the Star (the same as worn by the Grand Crosses) may be given as a higher distinction. The lowest rank is that of Knight or Dame. It is awarded to Catholics and non-Catholics and, on occasion, to non-Christians.

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