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VATICAN CASTELFIDARDO 1ST CLASS MEDAL ANCONA GOLD CLASP


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Hello Gents

Here we have a Castelfidardo medal Ancona clasp, made in 24 karat gold. I believe it to be a quite rare item, but I need your help to find out how many of these medals were made? I know they were bestowed to supreme commanders, but does anyone knows how many of those still survived...

I was also wandering why there is only one clasp on the ribbon considering there were five different clasps of different battles like Castelfidardo or Perugia clasp? This medal belonged to a supreme commander, shouldn't he be involved in more than one battle?

Last question; what would be the market value of a quite rare beastie like this one?

Acid test showed a total purity of 24 karat gold, usually decorations were made of lower karat gold to be more sturdy...

Any info would be apreciated!

Best regards

Joseph

 

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Edited by Alpha Draconis
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  • Alpha Draconis changed the title to VATICAN CASTELFIDARDO 1ST CLASS MEDAL ANCONA GOLD CLASP
  • 2 weeks later...

Hm....

No one knows nothing about the topic?

I know it is a rare item, but surely some of the phalermasters knows something about the first grade Castelfidardo medal...

To enrich this topic a bit here are the rest of this lovely medal... enjoy gents!

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Alpha Draconis,

Interesting medal that I have not seen before.  Perhaps you would explain what battles other than Castelfidardo this medal was awarded for?  All of the reference I have found on line say it was only issued for the battle of Castelfidardo.

Regards,

Gordon

 

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Hello Gordon

Indeed, this is a rare medal I myself don't have many information about, thus I believe there were more battles in this Austro-Franco-Papal 1860 war...

The clasps I know about are Castlefidardo, C Fidardo, Ancona, Perugia, St Angelo and Spoleto, but on these golden ones I have seen only C Fidardo and Ancona. I have seen only 4 of those, including mine, that's why my inquiry was how many of those were made considering they were bestowed to superior commanders only... how many of the superior commanders were there in 10000 soldiers army?

Best regards

Joseph

 

 

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Joseph,

Thanks for your response.  Since I made my post I found a link on The Medal Book that indicates several clasps for this medal.  Also numerous pictures of silver medals but the only gold one that shows up on the web appears to be the one in your collection.  An interesting question you have asked and with so little data on these medals it would be interesting to add the answer to your knowledge of the medal.  I don't collect Papal medals as a rule.  My main interests is in medals that have been awarded for a particular battle and this one fits the bill nicely.  Emedals has sold a couple of silver ones and some seem to have been sold on ebay.  Are you aware of copies of the silver ones?

Regards,

Gordon

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Hello Gordon

Yes I have had several of silver ones in my posession, and I have heard of copies, but never had one in my hands...

As for grades of this medal, there are four grades, some says even more!

First grade is gold with enamels, second grade is gold(possible gilded gold), third grade is silver, fourth grade is bronze.

But there are also silvered bronze, and even a nickel one... where those two features I haven't find out...

If I made some mistake in grading, please do correct me!

As for the first grade medal I have seen two of them in the Castelfidardo museum in Italy, and one more in private collection. One of them have two clasps C Fidardo and Ancona, and other two are claspless..

But I haven't find out any of those firstgraders has ever been sold on any auction, so its value is still a ????

I could ask a Vatican museum a few milion bucks for it🤗🤗 

I have heard that they have an extra money they don't need at the moment...

Thank you Gordon for your help, If you could you can post a photo of the silver copy, so people could be aware of it!

Best regards

Joseph

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Hello,

to find any detail about the Castelfidardo medal and its variations, I think the best should be reading the pages about this medal, in A. Brambilla's book (2nd edition) on the decorations and medals of Italy and the former Italian States.

It's the most documented and updated source on this subject.

Best wishes,

E.L.

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Joseph,

I am not a knowledgeable person on these medals but your thread has peaked my interest on them.  I do not own one of these silver medals but I will post the picture of some that I found on the internet.  As well, I found two silver medals for sale that had been awarded to members of the Irish Battalion of St. Patrick.  One on Worthpoint only identified as being issued to an Irish Corporal (I wasn't able to obtain a picture of this medal) and two medals awarded to Captain Myles Keough.  Plus the silver medal sold by Emedals.  I  think that you will find the medals issued to Captain Keough of interest.

The "Pro Petri Sede Medaglia" was taken from the body of Myles Keogh when found June 27, 1876 on the east side of the battle ridge at the Little Big Horn. Myles Keogh is seen wearing these two medals in Civil War photography and during the Indian War. The "Medaglia di Pro Petri Sede" (Pro Petri Medal) was presented to Keogh after the Papal War by Pope Pius IX 1860, he was also awarded the "Ordine di San Gregorio" (St. Gregory Medal). Vatican records confirm these two medals both given to Keogh. The Papal War of 1860 ended with the fall of Ancona where as many as 100 Irish soldiers in the Battalion of St. Patrick were killed or wounded during those few weeks in September. For their service, each officer and enlisted man was awarded the Medal for Gallantry "Pro Petri Sede Medaglia" by Pope Pius IX. The medal is a circular, silvered nickel-silver medal with hollow center with inverted Latin cross. With a circular ring in the form of a scaled mythical creature swallowing it's own tail, on ornate swivel suspension with ribbon bar; the face circumscribed 'PRO PETRI SEDE' (literally 'for the seat of Peter', meaning for the Vatican) above and 'PIO*IX*P*M*A*XV' (= Pius IX Pontifex Maximus 15th year, for the 15th year of the reign of Pope Pius IX = 1860); the reverse circumscribed 'VICTORIA OVAE VINCIT MUNDUM FIDES NOSTRA' (The victory of our flock conquers the world with our faith). These medals were of great importance to Keogh when he lost both in a fire at the famous Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in 1865. In 1867 Keogh obtained replacement medals. Keogh affirmed he didn't want to take leave for home in Ireland unless he had both medals with him. The last known photograph of Keogh taken in 1872 shows both medals prominently displayed on his left breast. These two medals of Myles Keogh are extremely well provenanced from direct family descent and lastly, one of the largest historians and authorities of Custer memorabilia, Dr. Elizabeth Lawrence. There are few personal mementos documented from the Custer battlefield that have a more interesting history than Keogh's Medal for Gallantry "Medaglia di Pro Petri Sede" given him by Pope Pius IX in 1860 while he was fighting with other Irish Catholics in the Battalion of St. Patrick in the Papal Army. There are numerous accounts concerning Keogh's body being not mutilated due to the fact he was wearing this medal. One of the most comprehensive texts on the Custer battle is Evan Connell's 1984 Son of the Morning Star where he summarizes several accounts of Keogh's body and this medal "Captain Myles Keogh had not been disfigured. He lay naked except for his socks, with a Catholic medal around his neck which usually is identified as an Agnus Dei, perhaps because Agnus Dei is a familiar phrase. Romantics describe it as a cross hanging from a golden chain. Almost certainly this medal was kept in a small leather purse or sheath and Keogh most likely wore it suspended by a leather thong or length of cord. It was the Medaglia di Pro Petri Sede awarded to him by Pope Pius IX for service with the Papal Army." In the most important biography of Keogh, written in 1939 by Edward Luce Keogh, Comanche and Custer. Luce was positive it was "the Pro Petri" medal that he wore and further claimed it was in "... a leather case attached to a cord around his neck..."". Accompanying these medals is a file of correspondence from descendants and Dr. Lawrence concerning medal. It is interesting to note that in a copy of Keogh's will written just three days prior to his death states his $10,000 life insurance policy and all his personal affects would be given to his sister Margaret Keogh in Ireland. In an article posted online, PROVENANCE: Myles Keogh 7th US Cavalry 1860, Margaret Keogh (sister) Kil Kenny, Ireland 1876, Dr. Desmond Blanchfield Keogh,Carlow, Ireland 1947, Garret Keogh Dublin, Ireland 1988, Dr. Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence 1988, Dr. Robert P. Lawrence 2003. CONDITION: Very good overall. Minor chipping in red enamel on St. Gregory Medal. Suspension ring opened on St. Gregory cross to green enameled wreath which is chipped, missing about 60% of enamel overall. Pro Petri still exhibits some luster, however plating is worn and scratched over much of its surface with small reductions of silver plating on cross as can be seen in photographs. 4-54477

Regards,

Gordon

 

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A fascinating account of Captain Keogh's awards but, in my humble opinion it rather begs the question of how his body came to be unmolested: I would not have thought that a Lakota warrior would recognize or care about a Papal medal and surely Keogh can't have been the only man in the 7th wearing a Christian cross.  Were some/most/all of the bodies looted and mutilated or not?

 

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On 03/10/2020 at 11:01, Elmar Lang said:

Hello,

to find any detail about the Castelfidardo medal and its variations, I think the best should be reading the pages about this medal, in A. Brambilla's book (2nd edition) on the decorations and medals of Italy and the former Italian States.

It's the most documented and updated source on this subject.

Best wishes,

E.L.

Hello Elmar

Thank you for the info on the Brambilla's book, I have heard of it but never had one.. if any of the coleagues have this book, please help with the info regarding this medal!

Best regards

A.D.

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Hello Gordon

Thank you for your post about captain Keogh, he had an impressive military career.

He had a silver, third grade Castelfidardo medal... I saw somewhere a photo of an Indian cheef The Sitting Bull wearing a silver Castelfidardo medal around his neck dangling around with his peace pipe, suggesting that there were surely been more of the Irish veterans of the Papal army in the battles against Indians, as Peter has suggested...

I was wondering if any of the Irish fighters got a higher grade Casterlfidardo medal? I saw a photo of the Irish batallion commander Major Mylas O'Reilly, but his medal also appears to be a silver one...

Best regards

Joseph

 

 

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