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Reference:4085 Ferrante Caracciolo and the Liberation of Messina, c. 1580

Bust of Ferrante Caracciolo, left, bearded, and wearing a cuirass ornamented with lions' heads and a ruff. Beaded border. View of the town and port of Messina, with ships in the centre. Legend: MESSANA LIBERATA. Beaded border. Bronze, cast. 59 mm. (2.35 inches) in diameter.

Condition: A contemporary cast, a small neat hole at the top. Fine to very fine, with a medium-brown patina. A flaw in the casting has resulted in the loss of a wedge-shaped piece of metal at the edge.

Notes: Ferrante (Ferdinand) Caracciolo (died 1596) was a military leader in the service of the Spanish in southern Italy from 1566. He fought at the battle of Lepanto in 1571, to where the Christian fleet had sailed from Messina, returning to the port in the winter after the battle. The medal thus refers to the removal of the Turkish threat, and indeed Caracciolo's published his account of the battle in 'Commentarii delle guerre fatte co' Turchi da Giovanni d'Austria' (1581). This medal, which is something of a rarity, has a charming view of the town and port of Messina, with its ships and houses quaintly, if naively, laid out. Would you please note that you are in the ARCHIVE page of the website, where all sold items are placed. For items that are still available, please go to the menu opposite and click on MEDALS & MEDALLIC ART.

References: Armand, iii, 297, b; Rizzini, Brescia, 673; Borner 978; Attwood 1075.