Papal commemoration

Created in 1869, a rare and beautiful Ormolu Plaque is the latest artwork to be acquired by the University, and represents a wonderful opportunity to recognise an important historical period and admire fine craftsmanship at its best.

Commemorating the Vatican Council in the Papacy of Pius IX on The Feast of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mary in December of the same year, the plaque depicts Mary’s holy and Immaculate Conception, and an edition was presented to each of the cardinals present. As the longest serving leader of the Catholic Church, Pius IX is known for convening the first Vatican Council and the ensuing decree of Papal infallibility.

The plaque was made by renowned French silversmith Antoine Vechte, who worked at Hunt & Roskell in London, and adds to a growing presence of religious artefacts held within the University’s Art Collection.

ACU Curator, Caroline Field states: "Its striking gold-like appearance is achieved through the process of applying finely ground, high-carat gold–mercury amalgam to bronze, creating ormolu or gilt bronze. This outstanding new acquisition has been sourced from the collection of Timothy Menzel, a notable authority on high quality decorative arts."

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