Pope Urban VIII

View of Harbor

Bronze, 42 mm Ø
By Alessandro Astesano, Regnal Year 9 (1631).
Obverse:  Bust of Urban VIII facing right wearing decorative cope. Around, VRBANVS · VIII · PONT · MAX · A · VIIII . On the truncation, A · ASTESSANO · F · .
Reverse:  Bird's eye view of the port and city of Civitavecchia. Above and around, NVNC RE PERFECTO , bordered by two bees.

Annual medal for the ninth year of Urban VIII's reign, issued on June 29, 1632. The original emission consisted of 230 examples in gold, 450 in silver, and 100 in bronze.

Civitavecchia was the major port for Rome, being important not only as a major commercial port but also as the home of the pontifical navy on the west coast of Italy. Like his predecessors, Urban VIII ensured that the port was always kept in continuous repair, and he also ordered stronger fortifications to be built to protect this important location. Nathan Whitman notes that, "By featuring on a medal the defensive and commercial aspects of this major port Urban was making as assertion of strength that was simultaneously military and economic."


This piece illustrated in Whitman and Varriano 1983, p. 79 no. 60 (Michael Hall collection).


Artemide Aste XXX, 9-10 October 2010, lot 1213.

A. H. Baldwin & Sons 66, 29 June 2010, lot 1100 (Michael Hall collection).


Whitman and Varriano 1983, no. 60

Miselli 2003, no. 245

Modesti 2007, no. 99

Modesti 2018, no. 3179