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A rare medieval papal bulla of Alexander IV. The obverse depicts the busts of St Peter and St Paul each within an inverted pear shaped compartment defined by pellets. There is a cross pattee supported on a staff between the busts. At the top of the bulla in the centre are the letters 'SPASPE', abbreviations for St Paul and St Peter. The reverse is inscribed over three lines VR.BANVS.PP.IIII (the PP means 'pastor pastorum', translated as 'shepherd of the shepherds'. There is an omega above the letters PP. Both obverse and reverse faces have a pelleted perimeter.

The hole for the attachment chord is now closed, originally running from top to bottom through the centre of the seal.


1254-1261 AD for Pope Alexander IV

Very Fine example with clean crisp detail front and rear.

Diameter 38.1 mms (1.5 ins).

Weight 53.13 grams


Provenance: from a Norfolk collection.


The bulla was so named because they were attached to Papal documents or Bulls. They were sent from the offices of the Pope in Rome and the seal signified that the document was issued with the Pope's authority.


Alexander's pontificate was signalled by efforts to reunite the Eastern Orthodox churches with the Catholic Church, by the establishment of the Inquisition in France, by favours shown to the mendicant orders, and by an attempt to organize a crusade against the Mongols after the second Mongol raid against Poland in 1259.

Rare Medieval papal bulla of Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261)

SKU: K308
  • Shipping Group A (see Shipping & Returns page for details)

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