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French Renaissance Medal;

*PAVL . DE PELISSON . CON . DV . ROY . MeDES . REQ . ORD . DE . SON . HOST(Conseiller du Roy. Maîtres des requêtes ordinaires de l'hôtel du Roi) 1677 below bust right. Unifaced cast bronze with rim, 48/60mm. EDIT I suspect this might be the work of Cheron.


It is possible that the date on the medal of 1677 is related to Pellisson being made head of the "Caisse des Conversions" a fund established by the French King Louis XIV to bribe Huguenots to convert to catholicism.


PAUL PELLISSON(or PELISSON)-FONTANIER, was born at Beziers in 1624, and after studying with success the Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, and Italian languages, he applied himself to law at Castres, and subsequently to general literature at Paris. Pellisson undertook to be the historian of the French Academy, and in 1653 published "Relation contenant l'histoire de l’Académie francaise", he was rewarded with a promise of the next vacant place and permission to be present at their meetings.


In 1652 he had purchased the post of secretary to the king; and five years afterwards became first deputy to M. Fouquet. He suffered by the disgrace of that minister; and in 1661 was confined in the Bastille, whence he was not discharged till four years afterwards. During his confinement he applied himself to the study of religious controversy and also wrote 2 defences of Fouquet; After his release, the King appointed him his royal historian, and in 1670 he abjured the Protestant religion. Louis XIV. bestowed upon him an annual pension of two thousand crowns, besides granting him numerous marks of royal favour. Having taken orders, he, in 1676, received the abbey of Gimont and some years afterwards the priory of St Orens in Auch. He put all his zeal to bring about conversions among his former co-religionists and helped create for this purpose the "cash conversion" a fund to convert Protestants/ Huguenots by the granting of pensions, honors or patents.


He died in 1693 and never received the last rites, Protestants claim that he had only accepted Catholicism under duress and purposely avoided the last rites, Catholics, that it was just an unfortunate occurence due to his sudden demise.


Though the medallist is unknown, I think that this other unifaced medal(unfortunately not mine) is by the same engraver based on the style of both letters & date & of course the portrait, shame the engraver of this one is also unknown!.


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