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Medal - Medal


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bonzagna, Gian Federigo, born 1508

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bronze medal depicts Paul III who served as Pope from 1534 tp 1549. He is shown on the obverse side, bare-headed and wearing a cope. On the reverse, a unicorn is shown plunging its head into a stream whilst an ox and a she-wolf are drinking and in the background there is a walled city amid mountains.

The portrait medal was used as a way of showing friendship, wealth and scholarship. It was inspired by doublesided Roman coins, which usually had a portrait of the emperor on one side and Latin inscriptions on both sides. Renaissance medals had a portrait on the obverse side (front) and often a motto or allegorical figure on the reverse, underlining the qualities of the person shown in the portrait.

Physical description

Medal of bronze, struck from a die. Paul III. (Alessandro Farnese), b. 1466. elected pope in 1534: d. 1549. Obv.: PAVLVS. III. PONT. MAX. AN. XVI. Bust to left, wearing a cope, and bare-headed. Rev.: IN. VIRTVTE. TVA. SERVATI. SVMVS. A unicorn is plunging its head into a stream, whilst an ox and a she-wolf are drinking; in the background there is a walled city amid mountains. Signed on the obv.: I. FEDE. PARM.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


16th century (made)


Bonzagna, Gian Federigo, born 1508

Materials and Techniques



Diameter: 1.5 in

Object history note

Bought for 4s.

Descriptive line

Medal, bronze, Paul III, unicorn, she- wolf, oxen, Italy, 16th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1893. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1894. pp. 163.



Subjects depicted

Wolf; Ox; Unicorn


Sculpture Collection

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