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Pius IX medal-Anno XXIV, 1869

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The case that came with this medal was so grimy I couldn’t make out the lettering.

After a bit of cleaning, the lettering became much clearer but so far I’ve made no sense of it.

Can anyone read fancy script like this?



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This is the script used




So it is I orJYWL. The W being double U's







Skattegraveren: et tidsskrift udgivet af "Dansk samfund til indsamling af folkeminder.", Volume 6, free ebook.


JYWL is old style Danish for Christmas, the modern spelling is JUL, similar to Yule.

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Thanks, I don't think I would have ever made that connection!


I searched and found quite a lot of interesting things about Christmas in Sweden in the meantime.



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I agree with the letter designation of JYWL, as shown in the photo of the old font (great research by the way), the only letter that is somewhat different than the script above is the W, the others are pretty much spot on.


However, I am somewhat suspect of it being the Scandinavian word for Christmas "Jywl" (as shown above as a word in the attached Scandinavian excerpt) since the embossed script on the case has periods between each letter. Does anyone know if the word jywl was used for Christmas ever with periods as on the case?


The periods would lead me to assume that it is an abbreviation... J.Y.W.L. Just my opinion, although I could see the reasoning/assumption of Pope Pius and Jesus/Christmas.

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1869; on the 11th of April fell the fiftieth anniversary of Giovanni Mastai's(Pius IX) elevation to the priesthood— his first “golden jubilee" Kings, Emperors and innumerable institutions and people lavished praise and gifts on him, both catholic and non-catholic alike.


J. Y. W. L. might be for Jubilee Year W? 50(latin L =50), any ideas on W?



I know that the Popes, when celebrating a significant event, have a Holy Week, so could it be it was declared a week of celebrations?


Book on Google Play "Theodore Wibaux: Pontifical Zouave and Jesuit" 1877.
Making it an abbreviation for " Jubilee Year Week. 50th " for his golden anniversary of his first mass?
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Entry into the priesthood is one of the most pivitol and sacred events in a catholic cleric's life, in fact without it he would never have become Pius IX :)


The medal in the case was issued in the same year, 1869, and the Jubilee was a huge occasion, so it is not really that surprising that they might have offered it in a case commemorating the event.


I did find one gold medallion purchased as a gift for the Pope on his Sarcedotal Jubilee in 1869, it had been made earlier, and this is a gilt example of it.




If by chance I am right re the initials on the case, they representing English words might suggest the case you have could have been made by Messrs Hunt & Roskell.


It was on April 11th, 1869, that Pius IX. celebrated his Sacerdotal Jubilee. Rome was then under the temporal dominion of the Sovereign Pontiff, so that the whole city was free at that time to wear a festive aspect and all who then had the good fortune to be there, can recall how Rome and the Romans, and with them visitors from all parts, rejoiced. Every train, every vehicle that entered Rome, every steamer that came to Civita Vecchia, brought in pilgrims from many and far-off lands. The Pope's Mass was the event of the Jubilee. It took place at 7.30 a.m. in St. Peter's, and never perhaps was the great church so crowded. "Those who looked on the Pope as the Holy Sacrifice proceeded," so wrote our Rome correspondent at the time, "can never forget his look of superhuman joy and peace. It was such as to kindle a spirit of devotion in all present, even the most careless sightseers, and to hush the whole concourse into a silence and recollection, I never before witnessed at a public ceremony at St. Peter's."


In the afternoon, the seven military bands of the Papal Army, aided by solo voices, performed Gounod's grand Jubilee Hymn, Evviva Pio Nono, while Pius IX. received various deputations from his own States, of whom many came bearing gifts. One poor man brought a ham,some brought wine, silk, olive oil, and so forth. The Papal Zouaves subscribed 15,coc francs as an offering from the "Pope's mercenaries," as the press used to call them. It was estimated that the total value of the gifts presented to Pius IX. exceeded in one week, 20,000,000 francs. On the day of the Jubilee, over 300 telegrams were received from royal and distinguished personages.


A body of English la) men brought to the Pope an address from the laity of England, and with it their offerings, the result of the "People's jubilee Commemoration Fund." The priests of England and Scotland subscribed 4.670 for the purpose of presenting an address and medallion to the Holy Father. The medallion, the work of Antoine Vechte, was the largest one ever struck in gold, and represented, in the lines of highest art, the doctrine and Papal definition of the Immaculate Conception. It is interesting to note that Queen Victoria sent her congratulations to Pius IX. through Mr., afterwards Lord Odo Russell, the English agent in Rome at that time.


Among the addresses delivered by Pius IX. on receiving deputations on occasion of his first Jubilee was one to some five thousand pilgrims from all parts of the world ; one to the youths of Italy who had come to lay their filial homage at his feet ; another to the Catholics of Lyons ; and one to the foreign ladies who presented a painting of the Battle of Mentana. In, reply to an address from the clergy of England and Scotland read by Mgr. Weathers, then Cameriere Segreto to his Holiness and Theologian to the Council, the Pope said : "I love to speak of England, where such wonderful graces are being bestowed by God ; where such progress in religion is being made ; and the more I think of it the more miraculous it appears to me. God's ways are inscrutable. He alone knows when the moment of ultimate conversion will come. In the meantime we must cultivate in a most special manner the spirit of unity, for there lies our strength . . . . I have noticed that Protestants are always appealing to the primitive Church, but when I turn to the early ages of her history what do I see? Unity, and all the more remarkable because existing in a state of society so different from the present. The Apostles were all of one accord, and one mind, and after their time, through persecution and poverty, the Church maintained the unity she had received from them Our strength in the difficulties we have to encounter lies in perfect union." The Holy Father spoke in French, and ended his speech by giving his Apostolic Benediction"

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  • 2 weeks later...


Out of curiosity I looked into the construction of the medal's case to see if there was the name of the manufacturer. Nothing.


I was surprised how improvised it looked inside but I suppose 82mm medals weren't that common.





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