101959 | ITALY. Vittorio Emanuele II Burial in the Pantheon bronze Medal.
101959 | ITALY. Interment of King Vittorio Emanuele II in the Pantheon bronze Medal. Issued 1878 (68mm, 139.20 g, 12h). By F. Speranza.
VITTORIO EMANUELE II RE D'ITALIA, head right, wearing oak wreath / L'OPERA A CUI CONSACRAMMO LA NOSTRA VITA È COMPIUTA, frontal view of the Pantheon; in two lines in exergue, XVII GENNAIO / MDCCCLXXVIII. Edge: Plain.
Forrer V, 599. Mint State details. Orange-brown surfaces, with a good deal of brilliance, though some minor spots of corrosion are noted on the reverse.
Vittorio Emanuele II served as the first king of a unified Italy, hailing from Sardegna (Sardinia) and taking advantage of surging nationalism throughout Europe in the mid-19th century. He was crowned as the King of Italy in 1861, with the Papal States remaining as an outlier in the central portion of the peninsula and, most notably, the city of Rome. Following the capture of Rome in 1870, the unification was territorially complete, with a standoff between the kingdom and the papacy over the status of the Holy See lasting another six decades. Upon his death in 1878 (coincidentally, the same year as his ruling colleague, Pope Pius IX), he was buried in the Pantheon in Rome—the ancient edifice constructed during the reigns of Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian. The Pantheon was intended to be the final resting place of all Kings of Italy from the House of Savoy, and includes Vittorio Emanuele's son and successor, Umberto I, but does not house the remains of subsequent kings, Vittorio Emanueele III and Umberto II, as they died in exile, and the Republican government has blocked their interment there.
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