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NNP Blog

Jun 01 2018
Medals

Newman Portal Search: 1719 Sede Vacante

This week a Newman Portal user searched on the term “1719 Sede Vacante.” I have no idea what this is, but let’s find out. NNP identifies only 9 auction appearances, so it must be a fairly obscure item. The most recent appearance is from Stack’s Bowers January 2015 NY International sale, lot 3700, which identifies it as a German medal and catalogs it as follows: “Paderborn. Silver Medal, 1719. Sede Vacante. 44.67 mm; 29.2 gms. Zepernick-241. Charlemagne in a circle of shields; Reverse: Saint Liborius in a circle of shields.” Wikipedia tells us that St. Liborius is the patron saint of Paderborn – but the story goes deeper:

“Miracles are said to have occurred at his [Laborius’s] tomb. In 835 Bishop Aldrich [of Le Mans, St. Liborius’s home in what is modern day France] placed some relics of his body into an altar in the cathedral, and in the following year, on the instructions of Emperor Louis the Pious, sent the body to Bishop Badurad of Paderborn, a diocese founded in 799 by Pope Leo III and Emperor Charlemagne that had no saint of its own. From this arose a ‘love bond of lasting brotherhood’ that has survived all the hostilities of the succeeding centuries and is considered to be the oldest contract still in force….In view of the power that veneration of Saint Liborius has had in binding peoples together, Archbishop Johannes Joachim Degenhardt of Paderborn established in 1977 the Saint Liborius Medal for Unity and Peace, which is conferred every five years on someone who has contributed to the unity of Europe on Christian principles.”

The 1719 Sede Vecante is thus a medal that appeals to Eurpoean unity within the context of Christianity and French-German relations.

Link to Stack’s Bowers January 2015 NY International sale catalog on NNP: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctionlots?AucCoId=3&AuctionId=517153&page=72

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