Medals

A medal is an artistic object, the purpose of which is to narrate a historical, political or religious event. Medals of proclamations and oaths commemorate the accession to the throne of Spanish kings and queens, an event that is celebrated in various cities throughout Spain, Spanish America, the Low Countries, Italy and Philippines.

These pieces were created to be distributed among the people or presented as gifts to institutions and important figures in connection with the ancient Roman custom of throwing coins to the people during important celebrations.

They are made at mints although at times, by silversmiths, which affects their artistic value and technical quality. The metals used were gold, silver and bronze; although other more modest medals were also used. Sometimes these medals were even given monetary value.

Their defining moment came in the 18th century with medallists such as Tomás Francisco Prieto, the author of the proclamation medals of Charles III in Madrid, or his disciple Gerónimo Antonio Gil, who would make the medals for the proclamation of Charles IV in Mexico.

The oldest commemorative medals that are conserved at the Cerralbo Museum date back to the 16th century; others were given to the Marquis of Cerralbo as prizes for his merits in politics or activities related to horse breeding and carriage competitions - another of his great passions.Salto de línea

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