Pope Alexander VII
Androcles and the Lion
After the cessation of a plague in Rome in 1657, Domenico Jacobacci, a Roman nobleman and papal agent, commissioned a medal to be cast in appreciation of Alexander VII's role in bringing an early end to the plague. The reverse portrays the story of Androcles, a condemned slave spared from death by a lion who remembers Androcles as the person who had once pulled a thorn from his paw. This scene represents the thankful remembrance of Jacobacci and the whole Roman populace.
Though unsigned, the medal is attributed to Travani on the basis of style, relating to several similar large cast medals of Alexander VII. The medal's design has been attributed to Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Fritz Rudolf Künker 282, 28 September 2016, lot 4424 (Luc Smolderen collection).