101069 | ITALY. Vatican City. Pope Pius XII silver Medal.
101069 | ITALY. Vatican City. Pope Pius XII silver Medal. Issued 1946/Year VIII. Commemorating the Papal Consistory (44mm, 36.48 g, 12h). By A. Mistruzzi.
PIVS • XII • PONT • MAX • ANNO • VIII, bust right, wearing stole and zucchetto / + E • QVINQVE • TERRARVM • ORBIS • PARTIBVS • XXXII • CARDINALIBVS • CREATIS, view of the central nave of St. Peter's Basilica during the Consistory. Edge: Plain.
Bartolotti E 946; Rinaldi 140; Cusumano-Modesti 56. Choice Mint State. Extremely lustrous and brilliant, with some golden-iridescent toning around the obverse devices; the reverse is nearly blast white; a few scattered hairlines on the obverse are noted. Tremendous relief on the reverse creates a great 3D effect.
Consistories in Catholicism represent times at which a pope can create new cardinals, adding them to the College of Cardinals. Due to death or retirement, the number of cardinals decreases, creating the need for periodic additions during such consistories. Pius XII was elected to the papacy in 1939 during a conclave consisting of 62 cardinals. The first of two consistories under his reign did not occur until 1946, as the conflicts of World War II created a necessary hiatus. His only other consistory was in 1953, 5-1/2 years before his death in 1958.