ORTOLANI, Giuseppi: Italy/Turkey, ca.1720, Bronze, 73 mm
Obv: Bust of Ottoboni (r) wearing lace cravat and long wig
ANTONIVS OTTHOBON (VS). CAP (ITANEVS). GEN (ERALIS). S
(ANCTAE): R (OMANAE): E (CCLESIAE):
Rev: The Apotheosis of the General: the Roman Wolf and the Venetian Lion
pulling a celestial chariot carrying Religion and guided by Precaution and
Value, all above a land and sea-scape. The enemies are being crushed
beneath the wheels of the chariot. CIVITATES IMPIORVM DESTRVET D(OMI)N(V)S.
ET LATOS FACIET. TERM(IN)OS FIDEI
Signed: GIOS(EPH). ORTOL(ANVS). F(ECIT).
Ref: See Johnson p. 200, fig. 208; Vannel and Toderi p. 28, fig. 19;
Forrer IV p. 332; Europese Penningen # 1400; Voltolina 1084; Serenissma II,
133; Toderi  56; Rizzini II, p. 142, 968; Weiss BW183
Antonio Ottoboni (1646-1720), a nephew of Pope Alexander VIII, was appointed
Captain General of the army of the Papal States (Generale di Santa Chiesa)
in 1689. The medal celebrates the victories of the pope and of the Republic
of Venice against the Turks led by Ottoboni when he was Papal General.
Ottoboni was ‘Cavagliere et Procuratore di San Marco’, a
man of music, letters and a poet. He married Maria Moretti; their son Pietro
(1667-1740) became a Cardinal.
The medal appears to have been struck on a cast flan,
perhaps around 1720, unusual for its time as most were cast during this
period. Although Voltolina and Serenissma both date the medal to 1689, the
reverse design (and the fact that the medallist would have been only about
15 years old) suggest that the date of the medal is about 1720.