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Papal Bull handwritten on large parchment by Pope Pius VII with lead seal - 1822

Lot reference 18862765
Papal Bull handwritten on large parchment by Pope Pius VII with lead seal - 1822

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Current bid $591
Next minimum bid $651
Location: Italy
Auction fee: 9% of the winning bid
Shipping to United States: $59.06
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$591 Bidder 9311
18-06-2018 16:17:04
$544 Bidder 1661
18-06-2018 16:16:43
$520 Bidder 9311
18-06-2018 16:16:43
$461 Bidder 1661
13-06-2018 23:15:32
$437 Bidder 7610
13-06-2018 23:15:32
$414 Bidder 1661
13-06-2018 23:15:27
$390 Bidder 7610
13-06-2018 23:15:27

Good/excellent condition, as shown in the pictures - with certificate of authenticity (CoA) - ancient ecclesiastical document on parchment with papal seal.

Papal Bull handwritten on large parchment by Pope Pius VII with lead seal - 1822

Parchment dimensions: width 62 cm x height 49 cm.
Historical register dimensions: width 29.7 x height 42 cm
Material: parchment

Condition: excellent Fast shipping via DHL express courier.

Rare to find with papal seal (bulla or lead coin), the most distinctive feature of the bull was the metal seal, called ‘Bulla’, a term which was then used to indicate the whole document. The seal was generally made of lead, but in very solemn occasions it was made of gold. The seal represented the founders of the Church of Rome, the Apostles Peter and Paul, identified by the letters Sanctus PAulus and Sanctus PEtrus. The name of the pope who would issue the bull was written in the back. The seal was attached to the document either by means of hemp cords (as it was the case for letters of Justice and enforceable), or with red and yellow silk (letters of grace) knotted through small openings in the document itself.
Since the late 18th century the seal has been replaced by a red ink stamp of Saints Peter and Paul with the reigning pope's name encircling the picture, although very formal letters, such as the Bull of Pope John XXIII who convened The Second Vatican Council, still bear the lead seal.

Pope Pius VII, in Latin: Pius PP. VII, born Barnaba Niccolò Maria Luigi (in religion Gregory) Chiaramonti (Cesena, August 14, 1742 – Rome, August 20, 1823) was the 251st Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church from the year 1800 until his death; he belonged to the Benedictine order.

Why Napoleon wanted to force the Pope to attend his coronation? Napoleon's idea was to keep the Pope in France, but he abandoned his intentions, realising that if the pope would have not returned, the cardinals would have thought he had renounced and they would have elected a new pontiff. This was the first cause of tension.

In 1806 Napoleon threatened the Pope when Britain asked the Pontiff to abstain, given the continental blockade to France. “Your Holiness is sovereign in Rome, but I am its emperor. All my enemies must be yours”, he wrote him.

In 1808 the tension increased. The Emperor's troops entered the Eternal City, and the Pope retired to the Quirinale. Napoleon managed to annex part of the territory, but he wanted more.

In 1809 he decreed the annexation of the rest of the territories and left the pontiff to remain in his residence in Rome. Pius VII inflicted on Napoleon the most serious condemnation the Church can impose, and excommunicated the emperor. Some people thought the excommunication was not valid, because the name of the Pontiff was not mentioned, but it didn’t help. The Bull Quam memorandum was very clear, ‘it excommunicated the thieves of St. Peter’s heritage’.

Their relationship ended up breaking, and Napoleon decided to arrest the Pope. When the troops entered the Quirinal, Pius VII offered no resistance. At that time the Pope uttered the most famous phrase of his pontificate. When asked if he was going to renounce to the Papal States and if he would have withdrawn the excommunication, the answer was clear: “We cannot, we must not, we don't want to”.

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